Formerly known as Soggy Bottom, the first look at Paul Thomas Anderson’s new film, Licorice Pizza, is finally here.
Set in the San Fernando Valley in the 1970s, Licorice Pizza follows a high schooler who also happens to be a successful child actor. Though classified by IMDB as a drama and comedy, the trailer makes it clear that we are in for both a coming-of-age tale wrapped up in a love story.
Alana Haim (of the Grammy-nominated band Haim) and Cooper Hoffman make their feature film debuts as the intertwining young couple who jetset on a rollercoaster of emotions while taking on growing pains and industry struggles.
“I’m a showman. It’s what I’m meant to do,” Cooper says as protagonist Gary in the trailer between swells of David Bowie’s “Life on Mars?”
Cooper is the son of the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, who died in February 2014. A frequent collaborator with Anderson, Hoffman’s last film with the writer-director was 2012’s The Master, which earned him a best supporting actor nomination for his performance as Lancaster Dodd.
Licorice Pizza is Anderson’s follow up to the Academy Award-nominated Phantom Thread. Since 2017, much of his professional output has been dedicated to directing music videos for fellow Valley natives Haim. In addition to helming a number of videos for their album Something to Tell You, Anderson directed “Man from the Magazine,” “The Steps,” “Now I’m In It” and “Summer Girl,” off of Women in Music Pt. III.
Similar to his protagonist, Anderson grew up in the Valley, more specifically in Studio City. It can only be speculated that elements of the story are autobiographical. Not only was he just born in 1970, but he also was not a child actor. However, it’s likely Anderson frequented Licorice Pizza, the chain of record shops that once saturated Los Angeles until its demise in the ‘80s.
Newcomers Haim and Cooper will find support in a cast that features Benny Safdie, Sean Penn, Maya Rudolph, Ben Stiller, John C. Riley and Bradley Cooper— who notably yells about his girlfriend Barbara Stresiand in the trailer. According to Variety, Cooper plays former hairdresser and producer Jon Peters and Safdie portrays a politician in the middle of campaigning.
Licorice Pizza begins its limited theatrical release on Nov. 26 and will expand nationwide on Christmas Day. Watch the full trailer below.