If you’ve been yearning for a new Paul Thomas Anderson film like the rest of us cinephiles, we’ve got some very good news for you. It looks like billionaire heiress Megan Ellison (daughter of Oracle boss Larry Ellison) is in negotiations to co-finance not one, but two new Paul Thomas Anderson films! The writer/director had been working on a religious drama said to revolve around the founding of a Scientology-like religion tentatively titled The Master, but was getting nowhere finding financing (this is Hollywood after all; just look at the vitriol spewed at Paul Haggis following his denunciation of Scientology).
The film was set to star Phillip Seymour Hoffman as the founder of a spiritual movement called the Cause, with Jeremy Renner taking on the role of his young protégé. Vulture reports that Renner was forced to drop out of the project given his full schedule (offers started pouring in following his Oscar-nominated turn in The Hurt Locker), but Hoffman is still attached to the film. Hit the jump for much more, including the status of Anderson’s adaptation of Thomas Pychon’s period crime-drama Inherent Vice.
Screenwriter Mark Boal (The Hurt Locker) and financier Megan Ellison have optioned the rights to a New York Times Magazine piece about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The story was written by Times executive editor Bill Keller and was published online on January 26th (you can click here to read it). The article details The Times and The Guardian’s dealings with Assange and the WikiLeaks organization. Boal has not yet committed to writing a script based on the Times Magazine’s piece. He is currently teamed with Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bigelow to do an untitled indie thriller followed by the larger drama Triple Frontier starring Tom Hanks.
The Wrap reports that this is the latest of several Assange-based films in the work. Documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney is doing a film on Assange, and Josephson Entertainment and Michelle Krumm Productions have optioned Andrew Fowler’s upcoming biography on the WikiLeaks chief.
Continuing on the journey of first look images, after the jump you can check out the first images from writer-director Mitch Glazer’s Passion Play and director John Cameron Mitchell’s (Shortbus, Hedwig and the Angry Inch) Rabbit Hole. Passion Play stars Mickey Rourke, Megan Fox, Bill Murray, Kelly Lynch, and Rhys Ifans, while Rabbit Hole stars Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart, Dianne Wiest, Miles Teller, Tammy Blanchard, and Sandra Oh.
While Mitch Glazer wrote Scrooged, Great Expectations, and The Recruit, this is his first time behind the camera, so fingers crossed he’s made a solid transition. On the other hand, John Cameron Mitchell has only made two films in the last ten years, so I’m very curious to check out what got him behind the camera again. I just wish he hadn’t cast Nicole Kidman, as her frozen face has distracted me from enjoying her performances of late. If this had been the Kidman of ten years ago, maybe I’d have a different opinion. Anyway, hit the jump for the first images and the synopses: