Reese Witherspoon may be joining Paul Thomas Anderson’s next film, which is loosely based on Scientology. The latest issue of Production Weekly [via The Playlist] reports that Witherspoon has been offered a leading role with filming set to begin this June. The drama centers on an L. Ron Hubbard-like individual named “The Master” (played by Philip Seymour Hoffman) and his relationship with an alcoholic drifter named Freddie Sutton (Jeremy Renner). The Wrap speculates that if Witherspoon came on board, she’d be playing “The Master’s much younger pregnant wife, Mary Sue, which was the name of L. Ron Hubbard’s wife [pictured above].” The female roles in an earlier draft were minor so they’ve probably expanded/will be expanded if Witherspoon takes the gig.
The Playlist’s excellent script review says The Master creates “a faith-based organization called The Cause that begins to catch on in America in 1952. As the faith begins to gain a fervent following, Freddie finds himself questioning the belief system he has embraced, and his mentor.” Anderson had a strong track record, but he took his game to a whole new level with There Will Be Blood. This new film needs to be on your radar.