The Master enters production
I never really thought we would see Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master enter production, after all the film could upset a few people who are in control of organised religions and/or cults, and the film has been talked about for a long time as it has raised a few eyebrows for the suggested similarities to popular cults.
However with the news that the film has been picked up and production has a start date we see a brief comment about the plot and the "S" word is nowhere to be seen.
The Weinstein Company have bought the rights to the worldwide distribution for The Master and it looks set to begin production in June, so the project that we thought was dead in the water and struggling for anyone to pick up, has turned around and surprised us all.
Deadline has the news that the film is beginning and reminds us that Philip Seymour Hoffman is set to lead and that the once touted Jeremy Renner is now replaced by Joaquin Phoenix in the Paul Thomas Anderson film which may no longer be called The Master.
It also reveals that he has "greatly overhauled the script", which could well mean that they've pulled back on the similarities to the organised religion/cult that shall not be named and it turned into a more generic story of a man who creates a religion. There's no mention of if this is the case, but since that isn't said and there's a clear statement that the script has changed, I wonder if that is the case. Perhaps the aspect of Scientology was just too hard to sell in Hollywood where it's ever growing and supported?
Hoffman will play a man who returns to America after World War II, changed by the horrors he has witnessed and the life he is now living. Through his experiences he creates a belief system which soon begins to catch on with other like-minded people, and before long he has a cult going.
It's an interesting story that was once set to look at the relationship between the leader and his right hand man, someone who joined as a drifter and has become more and more powerful in the organisation and has he does so has begun to question the system around them.
An interesting story, and I do hope the script changes have been good ones and not to pamper to any outside pressure. Mind you, do you think Paul Thomas Anderson is the kind of writer/director who would bow to pressure and change his films?
I'm looking forward to The Master, or whatever it will now be called, but expect some controversy to follow I'm sure.