Here is a fact: director Paul Thomas Anderson has started production on his untitled new film, where he’ll re-team with Daniel Day-Lewis. The pair last worked together on There Will Be Blood, which won Day-Lewis the Academy Award for Best Actor. Here is another fact: the mystery movie also stars Lesley Manville (Another Year) and Vicky Krieps (A Most Wanted Man).
That’s where the facts end, because everything else about “Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson Fashion Drama Film” is nebulous at this point. There’s no lengthy plot description, or even an official title (the speculation is Phantom Thread) — all the press release reveals is, “The new movie is a drama set in the couture world of 1950s London. The story illuminates the life behind the curtain of an uncompromising dressmaker commissioned by royalty and high society,” which sounds stuffy until you remember it’s a PTA joint.
The aforementioned dressmaker is rumored to be inspired by British-born designer Charles James, who moved to the United States as a teenager and became known as “America’s First Couturier.” The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art honored him for his “use of sculptural, scientific, and mathematical approaches to construct revolutionary ball gowns and innovative tailoring that continue to influence designers today.” In other words, James made extremely expensive dresses. He also lived a fascinating, hectic life — from a Vanity Fair profile: “He threatened to release a jar of moths in the salon of a furrier who fired him for nondelivery” — before passing away in 1978, around the time Boogie Nights takes place. Coincidence? Probably!
Look, all I’m saying is, replace Daniel Day-Lewis with Mark Wahlberg. There’s no reason Wahlberg can’t play a fancy British clothing designer.