After looking rather dead last September, Paul Thomas Anderson’s untitled religious drama was resurrected this past February when producer Megan Ellison (True Grit) and her Annapurna Productions came on board to finance the picture. Deadline now reports that Joaquin Phoenix has been confirmed play Freddie Sutton, an alcoholic drifter who becomes right-hand man to Lancaster Dodd, a charismatic intellectual known as The Master (played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, who’s been attached to the film from the beginning). Earlier drafts of the story were overtly based on Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, but that has reportedly changed. According to Deadline, “[Anderson] has greatly overhauled the script and now, Hoffman stars as a man who returns after witnessing the horrors of WWII and tries to rediscover who he is in post-war America. He creates a belief system, something that catches on with other lost souls.”
Deadline is also reporting that Anderson is now considering actresses Madisen Beaty (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) Amy Adams, Lena Endre (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), and Laura Dern for roles in the film. Hit the jump for more details on this exciting production.
After discovering that no one really cared about his retirement from acting or about the movie about his fake meltdown, Joaquin Phoenix may be getting back into the moving pictures (even though he never really left it). Variety reports that Joaquin Phoenix is in talks to join Philip Seymour Hoffman in Paul Thomas Anderson’s untitled religious drama. The story is based on the founding of Scientology and has Hoffman playing “Lancaster Dodd, a charismatic intellectual known as The Master” who creates a new religion, but eventually comes into conflict with his chief disciple. Phoenix would play the disciple, Freddie Sutton, “an alcholic drifter who becomes his right-hand man only to begin questioning his manipulative mentor.”
Last fall, the film—unofficially referred to as “The Master“—looked dead, but then this past February, Megan Ellison came to rescue not only of this film, but also Anderson’s planned adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice. Hit the jump for my thoughts on Phoenix joining The Master.
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.