According to Variety, writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson will follows up his acclaimed 2007 film There Will Be Blood with an untitled project about the founder of a new religious organization in the 1950s. Frequent Anderson collaborator Philip Seymour Hoffman will play that founder, a character known as “The Master” as in “Master of Ceremonies”. Variety continues explaining the plot as so:
“The Master” is a charismatic intellectual who hatches a faith-based organization that begins to catch on in America in 1952. The core is the relationship between the Master and Freddie, a twentysomething drifter who becomes the leader’s lieutenant. As the faith begins to gain a fervent following, Freddie finds himself questioning the belief system he has embraced, and his mentor.
Variety explains that this film isn’t a critique of modern religions such as Mormonism or Scientology, but a look at why people choose to believe in a higher power, how they define that higher power, and at what point does a belief system mutate into a religion? These are all fascinating questions and a fantastic premise for a film, especially after the religious overtones of There Will Be Blood. As for Hoffman, he’s been in all of Anderson’s feature films except for Blood, but this is the first time he’ll play the lead. If this story doesn’t get you jazzed out of your mind, then I’m going to assume you’ve never been a fan of Anderson’s. That’s a shame because he really took his game to the next level with There Will Be Blood and I can’t wait to see what he’ll do this time around.