Paul Thomas Anderson's 'The Master' is 'Delayed Indefinitely'
Aw, now this sucks. I wasn't hoping we'd ever have to report news like this, but alas we have to. The Playlist is reporting, from a few quotes (including one of their own) that Paul Thomas Anderson's new project titled The Master, the religious drama set to star Philip Seymour Hoffman and Jeremy Renner, has been "delayed indefinitely." That quote came from Renner in the latest print issue of TotalFilm, where he added: "I was really bummed about that. It really kind of stalled because when we were rehearsing — Phil, Paul and myself — we kept coming up against a wall that we couldn't overcome. Or at least Paul couldn't overcome."
As a recap, The Master is a Scientology-inspired religious project that focuses on a charismatic intellectual who hatches a faith-based organization that begins to catch on in America in 1952. The film is mainly about the relationship between "The Master" (Hoffman) and his apprentice, Freddie (Renner), a "20-something drifter" who later finds himself questioning the belief system that he had embraced and his mentor. Though shooting was supposed to start this year and obviously rehearsals had started, Hoffman told Playlist recently that "I don't have any new information [The Master]. I really mean that, I'm not being obtuse. I don't quite know what that is at the moment, but hopefully I will and hopefully I'll be part of something soon." Me too.
This is really sad to hear, not only because it seemed like it was a great, original project with two fantastic actors in the lead, but because I know we're all anxiously awaiting Paul Thomas Anderson's next film after There Will Be Blood. Obviously this wasn't a project that was going to have a blockbuster-size audience -- Universal passed on the film in March -- but every cinephile knows PTAnderson and would be interested no matter what. Of course, things could change and production could suddenly continue before the year's out, but for now it sounds like this on is on hold. I wonder what that "wall" Anderson couldn't overcome was?