Licorice Pizza, beloved director Paul Thomas Anderson’s highly anticipated new film, has been the talk of the town. Ever since it was announced, details of the feature remained largely under wraps but things have slowly begun to emerge since its first trailer. Luckily for all of us, Variety sat down this week with Anderson and talked juicy LP deets.
Anderson revealed the inspiration behind the film, which, as a funny, romantic flick, is admittedly somewhat unconventional terrain for him. He explained that one day he was walking around his neighborhood when he saw a middle school student flirting with an older woman who was taking school pictures. Those characters eventually metamorphosed into Gary (Philip Seymour Hoffman’s son, Cooper Hoffman) and Alana (Haim’s guitarist, Alana Haim).
Stylistically speaking, Anderson explained that he drew inspiration from a number of ‘70s and ‘80s high school movies, including American Graffiti and Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
That’s not super surprising, but he did throw in a bit of a curveball when asked what his favorite movies of 2021 were.
Barely taking a breath, he cited Shang-Chi as a theater-favorite, while also admitting that he does, indeed, live in a Marvel household. He also sang the praises of Venom: Let There Be Carnage and Titane, the Cannes-winner our critic describes as “108 bloody minutes of bodily mutilation and perversion.”
What can we say: Anderson is nothing if not full of surprises. And we’re positive the same will be the case for Licorice Pizza.