Excuse us a second, our brains just exploded. Not only does Paul Thomas Anderson's brewing untitled quasi-Scientology flick, formerly known as "The Master," now have a distributor in The Weinstein Company, but Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix are set to star, according to Deadline, with a June start now scheduled.
Ok, let's get into the nitty gritty. As you know by now, the film was tentatively set to shoot last year with Hoffman and Jeremy Renner in the roles before a nervous Universal backed out, leaving the film without a home. Back in February, newbie financier (and patron of all things arthouse) Megan Ellison kicked the film back to life, throwing her wealth behind "The Master" and Anderson's adaptation of "Inherent Vice" with a question mark remaining as to which one would get the go ahead first. That question has now been answered.
Anderson has used his time since last year to fine tune the script. Saying that it has been "greatly overhauled," the film centers on Hoffman, "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." Whether or not the very direct references/parallels to the early life of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard are still intact from the early draft of the script that circulated last year remains to be seen.
Phoenix's inclusion was first tipped a few weeks back and he'll be taking the role of Freddie Sutton, a former alcoholic who becomes the apprentice to Lancaster Dodd (Hoffman). But there are a handful of female roles as well that need to be cast, and some interesting names are surfacing.
Madisen Beaty, Amy Adams, Lena Endre and Laura Dern are said to be in contention for some unspecified female roles. From the draft we read, the key female roles are that of Mary Sue, the Master’s wife which was reportedly offered to Reese Witherspoon last year, and also the daughter Elizabeth that the likes of Amanda Seyfried, Emma Stone and Deborah Ann Woll were apparently considered for as well. We're not quite sure how this latest casting might land or how the roles may have changed, so we'll wait and see. But we'd wager Adams' involvement will depend on how soon she'll be needed on the set of Zack Snyder's "Man Of Steel."
But The Weinstein Company are preparing one fucking hell of a 2012. Andrew Dominik's "Cogan's Trade," Quentin Tarantino's "Djanjo Unchained" and now Paul Thomas Anderon's latest which reportedly may lens in 65mm -- can we just hit fast forward already?