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Paul Thomas Anderson To Shoot 'The Master' In June With Philip Seymour Hoffman & Joaquin Phoenix

by Kevin Jagernauth
May 9, 2011 6:55 AM
16 Comments
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Madisen Beaty, Amy Adams, Lena Endre & Laura Dern Contenders For Supporting Roles



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?

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16 Comments

  • Calamity Jane | May 12, 2011 12:54 PMReply

    Sorry. I meant Anderson, not Ellison!

  • Calamity Jane | May 12, 2011 12:52 PMReply

    Am I the only one picturing a drag down fight between Joaquin Phoenix and Ellison based on the above pictures? lol

  • Michael. | May 10, 2011 6:44 AMReply

    This is so awesome. It will be interesting to see who takes over from Elswit as DP and whether or not they use 65mm. The hot tip is that Mihai Malaimare Jr. (of Youth without Youth and Tetro fame) has come on board. He seems really bold and talented - a good fit for PTA.

  • Sean | May 10, 2011 2:53 AMReply

    @sp
    you must be dense. concerned citizen kane was just saying how paul is like kubrick, in that he gets nominated but doesn't win due to some other talent winning. same goes for gus van sant or ridley scott.

    but speaking in sense of style. if you didn't think there will be blood had a kubrick flair to it, then you must be a damn fool.

  • sp | May 10, 2011 2:16 AMReply

    concerned citizen kane , please don't compare PT to Kubrick- not even close. Kubrick , right now is turning in his grave.

  • rodie | May 9, 2011 9:46 AMReply

    It's going to be nice seeing Phoenix again!

  • concerned citizen kane | May 9, 2011 8:50 AMReply

    anybody else kind of wish this was coming out in 2011? With that crowded of an Oscar race, I don't want to see P.T. lose out again. guy's like kubrick - no love from the academy

  • BradZuhl | May 9, 2011 8:04 AMReply

    And 2012 could theoretically also see the release of the other film Malick's been working on. It's going to be an awesome year for movies!

  • The Playlist | May 9, 2011 8:01 AMReply

    We totally declared it dead, that's why we've kept going all these years... uhhh.

  • a | May 9, 2011 7:55 AMReply

    wait - I thought the only things coming out in 2012 were seuquels and prequels and comic book movies and this website had declared film dead?

  • Sean | May 9, 2011 7:46 AMReply

    I honestly think the world will now end since Cogan's Trade, Django Unchained, Lincoln, Looper, Wettest Country in the World, and now this? The world is literally going to collapse under the pressure of the amount of awesome from all these films.

  • Cory Everett | May 9, 2011 7:46 AMReply

    Holyshitholyshitholyshit.

    And I'm hoping that with Ellison financing it, Weinstein won't be able to touch a frame of the film.

    This is now my most anticipated film.

  • cocaine death blow | May 9, 2011 7:45 AMReply

    i came.

  • Alex C. | May 9, 2011 7:31 AMReply

    Best news of the day, hands down.

  • Erik McClanahan | May 9, 2011 7:24 AMReply

    Yeah, Ellison is amazing. 2012 is gonna save us from this lackluster year of movies (at least thus far).

    Can't wait for this film. Anderson has done nothing but make one fantastic film after another.

  • Stephen | May 9, 2011 7:17 AMReply

    I think Megan Ellison has now reached the benevolent goddess-esque level where her name should be bolded in these pieces.

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