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Paul Thomas Anderson's Producer Tips 'The Master' for Cannes? UPDATE: It Was Pitt-Starrer 'Killing Them Softly'

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood April 18, 2012 at 3:46PM

"Cannes," reads the cryptic tweet at @annapurnapics, the Twitter account for the production company, Megan Ellison's Annapurna Pictures, behind Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master." "Uh oh, just tell us now if we should book our ticket...," tweets Anderson-affiliated @cigandredvines.
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Paul Thomas Anderson's 'The Master'
Paul Thomas Anderson's 'The Master'

"Cannes," reads the cryptic tweet at @annapurnapics, the Twitter account for the production company (Megan Ellison's Annapurna Pictures) behind Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master." "Uh oh, just tell us now if we should book our ticket...," tweets Anderson-affliliated @cigandredvines.

That, added to The New York Times' lengthy takeout on "The Master" (October 12) running in Wednesday's daily paper, the day before the announcement of the Cannes Festival official selection, led me to suspect that PTA's movie might show up in the Cannes line-up. After all, the combo of auteur Anderson ("There Will Be Blood," which earned eight Oscar nominations in 2008), who has played the fest before, and Cannes perennial distributor Harvey Weinstein, who launched "The Artist" there last year, seemed like a powerful one.

Annapurna Cannes tweet

Not so. We will have to wait. Two other Annapurna productions acquired by the Weinstein Co. got into the Cannes competiton: Andrew Dominik's "Killing Them Softly" ("Cogan's Trade"), starring Brad Pitt and John Hillcoat's "Lawless"("Wettest County"), starring Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Guy Pearce, Gary Oldman and Jessica Chastain.

Budgeted at about $30 million, this version of "The Master" (which was originally developed at Universal Pictures and was then backed by independents Bill Pohlad and Ellison), stars Joaquin Phoenix as Freddie Quell, a hard-drinking Navy vet looking for work back in the early 50s, "before stumbling through the docks of San Francisco to his much stranger destiny," writes the NYT. 

Anderson, 41, is finishing up his  eagerly awaited 6th movie, which is inspired by the Church of Scientology and also stars Philip Seymour Hoffman as a cult founder not unlike L. Ron Hubbard, Laura Dern and Amy Adams. Anderson worked with famed Scientologist Tom Cruise on the film "Magnolia." "You can read the entire history of the project here," reminds @cigandredvines.

This article is related to: Cannes, Festivals, Festivals, Brad Pitt


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.