Paul Thomas Anderson’s Next Film is 1940s L.A-Set Jazz Epic? Denzel Washington Rumored to Star – Jordan Ruimy

This year’s 12th edition of the Scary Movies festival at Film at Lincoln Center premiered Ari Aster’s extended version of “Midsommar” this past Saturday.
Rumors are again starting to brew that Paul Thomas Anderson’s next film will be the 1940s Jazz scene project he kept hinting at making these last few years.
Denzel Washington has been seen in recent months meeting with PTA. Whether this has anything to do with a new film remains to be seen. However, why else would they meet?
There has also been talk of very low-key auditions occurring in Los Angeles for this new movie. There have also been hints at organized crime elements being a part of this new film.
PTA takes years between projects so this one might not get into production sooner than we think. His last few films were separated by 3-4 years: 2014’s “Inherent Vice,” 2017’s “Phantom Thread,” and 2021’s “Licorice Pizza.”
A Q&A earlier this year had PTA admitting that he was writing another movie right after “Phantom Thread,” in 2018. He added that he put it down because the world was too depressing. The writer-director described the mysterious screenplay he was working on, before “Licorice Pizza”, as “kind of bleak.”
Back in 2018, PTA had also revealed to the WGA audience that he was working on another film before hopping onboard “Licorice Pizza” in late 2020. What that project was remains a mystery, but it could very well be the 1940’s “Little Harlem” Renaissance film that had been rumored to be in the works around 4 years ago.
Back in a 2018, Tiffany Haddish told Vulture that she and PTA have been kicking around some ideas ever since he gave her a shout-out at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards.
“I’ve been talking to him on the telephone! I mean, he put his phone number out there, so I had to call. I’ve talked to him a few times and we’re probably gonna work together.”
Specifically, they spoke about the golden age of L.A.’s “Little Harlem” in the 1940s, when the Hotel Dunbar in South Central Los Angeles was the center of a thriving African-American arts and music scene. Haddish later expounded to IndieWire what the project might look like:
“You know how they got ‘Harlem Nights‘? I was like, ‘What if we did “South Central Nights,” like what South Central used to be? How L.A. was this place where you could come and be free, but it was still very segregated, and how that worked in the relationships, the interracial relationships, and all that dynamic?” Haddish told IndieWire about the percolating project. 
PTA has stated in the past that one of his favourite authors is Chester Himes. Maybe Hines’ “A Rage in Harlem” could be in the works as that novel is set in Harlem during the 1940s Jazz age.
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