Paul Thomas Anderson's THE MASTER Begins Filming June 13th

And this exciting news will make my pending flight to Cannes all the more enjoyable. A few days ago I was sent an early draft that I actually think made the rounds last summer when Paul Thomas Anderson's religious take-down movie The Master was initially gearing up to film at Universal (before they got concerned over the controversial themes), but now I can read it safe in the knowledge that the movie is definitely going to happen and as early as June 13th. Finally... PTA's next project after There Will Be Blood is tantalizingly close to production. Deadline say The Weinstein Company has won a 'fevered' bidding war for the worldwide distribution rights to the now untitled movie that will star Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Lancaster Dodd, the charismatic leader of €˜The Cause€™, a conniving fictional version of Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard. Also cast is Joaquin Phoenix who will portray Freddie Sutton, the young alcoholic drifter who becomes his apprentice. This is the role previously attached to Jeremy Renner last year but after Universal dropped the film, he€™s since moved on to other projects. Though we are told the 12 months since Universal first passed on the project has allowed Anderson to fine tune what is now a €œgreatly overhauled€ screenplay and the updated synopsis might hint at something slightly different than before as Hoffman would play;
€œa 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.
I like that Anderson has perhaps moved away from any specific religion deconstruction and more to how in the aftermath of atrocity, people will find themselves looking for answers in those that came to have them. Movie obsessive and billionaire Megan Ellison gave Paul Thomas Anderson€™s long in the making film a huge $35 million boost back in February after Universal previously dropped the controversial drama. Also circling the female roles are Amy Adams, Madisen Beaty, Lena Endre and Laura Dern - one of which will presumably win the part of Mary Sue, the wife of The Master which was offered to Reese Witherspoon last year and also their daughter Elizabeth (Emma Stone & Amanda Seyfried previously considered). Potentially ruling out Adams is her time on Zack Snyder's Superman reboot Man of Steel that films around the same time where she will play the iconic role of Lois Lane. So cork that champagne - it's time to celebrate a new film on the horizon from PTA and it sounds like a doozy. It's been too long...

Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.