Los Angeles - Robert Downey Jr is in talks to take on the lead role in Inherent Vice.
The Sherlock Holmes star is reportedly interested in starring in the project - which is adapted from the 2009 Thomas Pynchon novel - about a drug-addled detective who becomes immersed in a number of mysteries in Los Angeles in 1969 while the Manson Family murder trial looms large in the background.
Inherent Vice focuses on Downey Jr's character Larry 'Doc' Sportello as he finds himself caught up in a mystery when he is asked by an ex-girlfriend to help prevent her lover, the real estate mogul Mickey Wolfmann, from being sent to a mental institution by his scheming wife.
The film will be written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson.
Downey Jr has recently dropped out of a number of projects including Sam Raimi's Oz, The Great and Powerful and Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity and although he will begin working on The Avengers this summer, he is otherwise free to take on the role in Inherent Vice.
Anderson last wrote and directed There Will Be Blood starring Daniel Day Lewis in 2007.