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Licorice Pizza - What We Know So Far

Director Paul Thomas Anderson's "There Will Be Blood" made its premiere back in 2007, and featured an award-winning performance by its star, Daniel Day-Lewis. The film takes place in the early 1900s during an oil boom that lures both enterprising and desperate individuals alike out west in hopes of striking it rich. While the film's early 20th-century setting saw Anderson exploring a time period he hadn't previously, the same could not be said for its primarily Californian locations.

Indeed, ever since "Boogie Nights" in 1997, nearly every one of Paul Thomas Anderson's films has taken place, at least partially, in or around Los Angeles. Anderson, in particular, has an affinity for the San Fernando Valley, located in the northwestern reaches of the city of Los Angeles. The region famously served as the backdrop of "Boogie Nights" and for large portions of both "Punch Drunk Love" (via Movie-Locations.com) and "Magnolia" (via Movie-Locations.com). Now, Anderson is set to return to the Valley again with his latest film, "Licorice Pizza" (via The Film Stage).

Details about the film are just now starting to be confirmed, thanks largely to the late September release of its first trailer. With that in mind, here's everything we know so far about "Licorice Pizza."

When is the Licorice Pizza release date?

The first trailer for "Licorice Pizza" ends with the promise that the film is "coming soon to a theater near you," and the YouTube description for the trailer claims that it's "coming soon only to theaters." While this suggests that "Licorice Pizza" is currently without a proper release date, reports published in April (back when it had the working title, "Soggy Bottom") claimed that the film would first debut in select theaters on November 26 before releasing to the greater public on Christmas Day.

That said, the fact that the latest trailer for the film includes no such information could very well indicate that those plans have since changed, possibly as a precaution in case of any potential, pandemic-related complications that could affect its release. Either way, given director Paul Thomas Anderson's reputation in the industry, it seems safe to say that "Licorice Pizza" will be hitting theaters in time for it to qualify for awards recognition next year, which means it'll likely make its debut sometime in either November or December.

Who is in the cast of Licorice Pizza?

The two central characters of "Licorice Pizza," both of whom receive the majority of the screentime in the film's first trailer, are portrayed by Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman. Haim is famously one of the three Haim sisters who grew up together in the San Fernando Valley (via Los Angeles Times) and now comprise the pop-rock band HAIM.

Hoffman, meanwhile, is the son of the late great Phillip Seymour Hoffman, who, along with Haim, is making his silver screen debut (via THR) in "Licorice Pizza." Philip Seymour Hoffman and Paul Thomas Anderson were frequent collaborators, with the actor appearing in several of Anderson's films, including "Hard Eight," "Boogie Nights," "Punch Drunk Love," "Magnolia," and "The Master," which makes his son's role in "Licorice Pizza" feel particularly moving and poignant.

The cast of "Licorice Pizza" also includes Sean Penn, Tom Waits, Maya Rudolph, Bradley Cooper, and Benny Safdie, all of whom appear briefly in the film's first trailer.

What is the plot of Licorice Pizza?

"Licorice Pizza" is described by its distributor, United Artists Releasing, as "the story of Alana Kane and Gary Valentine growing up, running around and falling in love in the San Fernando Valley, 1973. Written and Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, the film tracks the treacherous navigation of first love." Alana and Gary are portrayed by Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman, respectively. While details about Alana's life in the film are currently unknown as well, we do know that Hoffman's Gary is a child actor, as is alluded to by several scenes in the film's trailer.

Additionally, Bradley Cooper is set to star in the film as real-life movie producer Jon Peters (via IndieWire), whose credits include the Barbra Streisand-led 1976 iteration of "A Star Is Born." That said, it's unclear how exactly Cooper's Peters connects to Alana and Gary's relationship, which is set to serve as the film's central storyline.

Some other plot details, like how the characters portrayed by Maya Rudolph, Sean Penn, Tom Waits, and Benny Safdie will factor into the main story of "Licorice Pizza," remain unclear. On the bright side, that just means viewers can look forward to finding out the answers to some of those questions whenever "Licorice Pizza" is released on the big screen.