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15 New Photos From 'The Master,' Philip Seymour Hoffman Still Insists It's Not About Scientology

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by Edward Davis
August 11, 2012 3:16 PM
19 Comments
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The Master

Another new deluge of photos from Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master" has arrived. Directed by Anderson and starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams, the picture is one of the most anticipated films left in the year. Said to be a riff on L. Ron Hubbard and the nascent beginnings of Scientology, the early screenplay, trailer and several materials from the film don't do much to counter this idea. But the creative team still insist they're weaving a different tale.

"It's not the L. Ron Hubbard story," Hoffman told Entertainment Weekly in this weekend's issue via C&V. "[Scientology] was one of the bigger movements at the time, but there were a lot of movements at that time. There's nothing about how I'm behaving or talking that echoes [Hubbard]. I thought of a lot of other bigger-than-life personalities, charismatic people like Orson Welles. Joaquin's character is like a beaten dog," says Hoffman. "No matter where he goes, [Quell] gets into severe trouble. And somehow I'm able to deal with him."

Producer JoAnne Sellar echoed the same sentiment. "People are going to have to draw their own conclusions to that aspect of the movie," she said. "[Anderson] is interested in how veterans came back from World War II. They were these lost souls who were uncertain about their future."

Well, we'll find out soon enough, "The Master" arrives in theaters on September 14th and also arrives a few days earlier at the Venice and Toronto International Film Festivals. [Cigarettes & Vine Facebook/Cigarettes & Vine]

The Master, Joaquin Phoenix
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The Master, PSH, Amy Adams,
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the Master, Joaquin Phoenix, resting on a naval ship
the Master, car
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the Master, PSH, JP
the Master, Joaquin Phoenix (Skip crop)
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19 Comments

  • veggiegal | August 13, 2012 12:34 PMReply

    A friend of mine saw the trailer the other day (before Hope Springs) and wihtout knowing anything about the film she thought it was based on L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology.

    It looks great and I can't wait to see it.

  • lenij | August 13, 2012 3:07 AMReply

    One of my most anticipated of the year. Joaquin Phoenix is phenomenal. Drooling over his performance.

  • Tom Cruise | August 12, 2012 11:23 PMReply

    i can't wait to see this

  • woggins | August 12, 2012 5:56 AMReply

    I sure hope PTA has several extra copies of the film with them at the Venice and Toronto International Film Festivals, when a film called The Profit (loosely based on a scientology-like cult) was to be shown in Toronto a decade ago, the cult had OSA (Office of Special Affairs: read Dept of Dirty Tricks) impersonate the director to steal the film from projection room. It was never shown in TO and scientology got a court order keeping it from being released.

    This film has Oscar written all over it, can't wait to see it.

  • alan | August 12, 2012 1:44 AMReply

    wow. having seen the film, i'm very surprised that hoffman insists it's not based on scientology. some dialogue is directly lifted off of some prominent hubbard quotes (his introduction to the first edition of dianetics for instance, most explicitly). also, hubbard's wife mary sue, responsible for project snow white, is portrayed beat for beat by amy smart; manipulative, seductive, cautiously introverted. i can see why weinstein is pushing this back from awards now; oddly enough he joked at cannes about how the controversy surrounding it would drown out any golden glam potential.

  • Mary McConnell | August 11, 2012 11:00 PMReply

    Anderson, Hoffman and the Sellar can say what they want now....... the seed has been planted by ingenious marketing moves, key near exact quotes in the trailers, along with principle actors who look, dresse and posture just like L Ron Hubbard and his wife Mary Sue Hubbard. Can't wait to see this movie!

  • test | August 11, 2012 5:57 PMReply

    In the 11th photograph (w/the table in a room corner) there's a time-warp error. The table indeed looks like those from the 1950s, but the two chairs are modern-day.

  • Artoo45 | August 12, 2012 1:37 PM

    Those chairs are Emeco chairs from the 40s and are perfectly period. They are beloved of hipsters far and wide, have been reproduced by Emeco and copied by countless ripoffs. The Emeco chairs are available at Design Within Reach (of millionaires).

  • Del Mar Club | August 11, 2012 4:41 PMReply

    The trailers for "The Master" gave me a definite Synanon vibe, and I was there. Not that the film is telling that story more than any other, but the "feel" is right. I never spent much time around Scientology, so I can't speak to that, but when Hoffman says "...there were a lot of movements at that time," he knows of what he speaks. True that Hoffman looks like Hubbard more than he looks like Synanon founder Chuck Dederich, especially in costume, but I can believe there are multiple real-life scenarios being drawn from here.

  • AS | August 11, 2012 3:57 PMReply

    All of P.T. Anderson's films are character studies so I can't imagine this is any different.

  • Dan | August 11, 2012 3:46 PMReply

    Considering how much of what's been released has been focused on Phoenix , I'm just gonna take what the cast/crew/people who've seen it say at face value and assume it's probably a film focused on its characters more than any religion or social movement. People can draw connections like they did for There Will Be Blood but PTA just isn't the kind of writer who lets bold statements get in the way of characters or story.

  • serpico | August 11, 2012 3:37 PMReply

    Is that Phoenix or an ape?

  • owdl114 | August 11, 2012 3:32 PMReply

    No Laura Dern yet though. Still excited.

  • shackett | August 12, 2012 2:37 PM

    note - that is the Production Photographer. It's not a frame from the actually film but a photographer who takes shots during rehearsal or downtime. Marketing probably didn't let him know that they were using that photo because it'd be easy to photo shop him out of there.

  • Pierre | August 11, 2012 4:20 PM

    haha, great catch! *prays they overlook this in post*

  • owdl114 | August 11, 2012 3:34 PM

    *Also! Camera crew reflection ahoy (Picture of the car)!

  • yer | August 11, 2012 3:28 PMReply

    Who's winning best actor this year? Phoenix or Phoenix?

  • Jon | August 11, 2012 9:32 PM

    Probably Daniel Day Lewis, Besides I'd rather have the film do well and have Paul get nominated + win instead of Phoenix

  • jo | August 11, 2012 9:05 PM

    Basing this on a 2 minute movie trailer? Give me a damn break.

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