There are three groups of people that are staying away from Paul Thomas Anderson’s next film: a.) Companies afraid to fund a project that can potentially lean to the left, b.) Hollywood players who prefer being on good terms with Tom Cruise, C.) and production companies without deep enough pockets for an auteur film of this stature. Everyone else can apply. While this project won’t find a partner in Universal (did they not like the experience funding an auteur film in Basterds?), there is word that the River Road (who backed Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life) are the only ones with the balls or the deep pockets to finance such a project.
Also worth noting, there is no putting to rest the talk that Renner might indeed be a lot closer to signing on as the apprentice to Philip Seymour Hoffman’s religious guru, which is surprising if you’ve been keeping tabs on the project. The Playlist first scooped up the news of Renner would take on the role originally assigned for someone much younger. I speed read the site’s script review, trying to stray away from spoilers, and they gave incredible insight into the character which I could picture, only if you wax the stubble off Jeremy Renner’s face and bring him closer to the boyish and innocent looking charm a la Zac Efron demo.
The Master would see Philip Seymour Hoffman as a founder, a “master of ceremonies” type of charismatic intellectual who hatches a faith-based organization that begins to catch on in America in 1952. The core is the relationship between the Master and Freddie, a twentysomething drifter who becomes the leader’s lieutenant. As the faith begins to gain a fervent following, Freddie finds himself questioning the belief system he has embraced, and his mentor. The drama explores the need to believe in a higher power, the choice of which one to embrace and the point at which a belief system graduates into a religion.