Joaquin Phoenix replaces Robert Downey Jr. in Paul Thomas Anderson's 'Inherent Vice'

It's a crying shame that Joaquin Phoenix and Paul Thomas Anderson's collaboration on The Master isn't likely to reap any Oscar gold, in particular in the Best Actor category. Nope, he'll be soundly defeated by Daniel Day-Lewis' performance in Lincoln, ironic only in that Lewis last one the award for Anderson's There Will Be Blood. Anyway, it appears the Phoenix/Anderson relationship will continue, as the two will pair up for the long-developing Inherent Vice.

The adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's crime novel has long been envisioned as a starring vehicle for Robert Downey Jr., but the actor has apparently rethought it and dropped out. Shame, because it would have been nice to see him do something a little different for the first time in ages. But it's still a great part for Phoenix, and just as much a departure for him, playing pothead private detective "Doc" Sportallo, who gets mixed up in a kidnapping plot in 1960s Los Angeles.

The story features a ton of really crazy, quirky characters, and other big names are expected to sign on to take on those roles. Charlize Theron has been mentioned as a possible co-star, but nothing's confirmed just yet. So Anderson and Phoenix are together again. Excited? [THR]