Just a quick note, we're experimenting with the format of Reel Talk. The idea is to make it easier and more efficient to write (and therefore read) by giving each story its own titled segment that I can write as the stories break throughout the week rather than having one flowing piece of prose that has to be written in one day at the end of the week. Unfortunately, I picked the worst possible week for this experiment, because it was a particularly barren in terms of news. As I can only work with what I have, what we have today is somewhere in between the two formats, with an extended ramble about one story like ye olden days - the new idea is to devote two-ish paragraphs to the big stories, not four - that has a fancy new header above it. Here's hoping that next week will be more fruitful so I can actually do this properly. Right, now that's cleared up, we good? Yeah, we good.

Paul Thomas Anderson, yes that one, is Writing a Pinocchio Film and Could Direct.

First, there's surprise. Because this whole thing seems really fucking weird, right? I mean, the mere fact that Robert Downey Jr., along with his Warner Bros based production company Team Downey, has spent years developing an adaptation of Carlo Collodi's novel Pinocchio is curious enough in itself. But that Downey has enlisted his friend Paul Thomas Anderson to write that film's screenplay based on a draft by The Giver (2014) screenwriter Michael Mitnick, with a view to direct that film too, is considerably harder to digest. I mean, this is the writer and director of such works as There Will Be Blood (2007), Boogie Nights (1997) and the Adam Sandler romantic comedy Punch-Drunk Love (2002). He's a genius filmmaker, one of the most vital names working in contemporary American cinema. His body of work is sprawling and diverse, but united by, shall we say, a general unfriendliness towards family viewing. He makes eccentric, adult themed pictures for film nerds, so Pinocchio seems far removed from his wheelhouse.

But then it begins to make more sense. For one, Pinocchio is incredibly fucked up for a children's story, which you'd think a filmmaker like Anderson would be able to translate well - especially as he'd be writing for Warner Bros rather than Disney. Then there's the fact that Anderson's films - especially Magnolia (1999) and The Master (2012) - share a fascination with troubled father-son relationships, something you'd imagine would perfectly suit any adaptation of Pinocchio. And then we can consider the possibility that Anderson simply wants to continue emulating Robert Altman by making his own Popeye (1980). However, above all this, I think what's most important here is that Paul Thomas Anderson is a voracious cinephile. His taste is broad, not simply comprised of the canonised films you're supposed to like, and it's one of the reasons why he's such a great filmmaker. I don't doubt that he loves many of the films he watched with his children - both classics like Disney's Pinocchio (1940) and the lighter, less respectable films released in multiplexes every week - nor do I doubt that he'd like to use everything he's learned from those films to make something that his children can actually watch.

Of course, Warner may eventually hire somebody else to rewrite Anderson's draft and look towards somebody else to direct the film. As we've established before, a lot of films don't happen, and PTA's Pinocchio could easily be one of them. I mean, the talented likes of Bryan Fuller (showrunner of Hannibal[2013-]) and Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass [2010], The Woman in Black [2012]) each turned in drafts for this adaptation of Pinocchio before Mitnick. Still, as I said, this is Warner rather than Disney, and they're perhaps the most likely out of the majors to give Anderson a semblance of creative freedom. After all, over the past few years, they have: produced weird, original populist auteur films such as Gravity (2013), Jupiter Ascending (2015) and Interstellar (2014); given septuagenarian George Miller a production budget of $150 million to make the deliriously beautiful Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), the first film in the series for twenty years; and backed the more modest likes of Anderson's Inherent Vice (2014), Her (2013) and The Conjuring (2013). Even if all their experiments weren't hugely successful artistically or financially, they were at trying something slightly different, which gives me some hope that Anderson will not be reined in too much.

But, that being said, those films were greenlit while Jeff Robinov was still president of Warner Bros Motion Picture Group. He left in 2013 because he was overlooked for a promotion and yelled at his boss, so we're seeing the last of the films made under his stewardship this year. While it's undoubtedly encouraging that Warner is continuing to consider filmmakers like Anderson, who don't really bring in a lot of money despite their clout, we have no idea how much control he'll actually have now that Sue Kroll, Greg Silverman and Toby Emmerich are in charge at Warner. So, yeah, basically this big ramble is tantamount to a giant shrug. This project is fascinating and not as incongruous as it initially seems, but there's every chance that it won't happen - I mean, we don't even know how Anderson would work within the sphere of big-budget studio filmmaking. Then again, we didn't know what an Adam Sandler romantic-comedy directed Paul Thomas Anderson would look like, and that turned out fine.

And, that's all the film news worth knowing about this week.

I guess the industry took an extended break for Independence Day, because very little of consequence happened. Oh, apart from the story legendary French filmmaker Claire Denis (35 Shots of Rum [2008], The Intruder [2004] will be directing her first English-language film, a science-fiction adventure written by novelist Zadie Smith. There's not more I can add apart from that this project is actually something worth getting excited about, unlike the stories about films getting titles, or ones confirming that a director won't direct a film that she wasn't officially attached to direct in the first place.