Joaquin Phoenix Cast in P.T. Anderson's Upcoming Religious Project
Is his religious project actually back from the dead? Variety is reporting that Joaquin Phoenix is currently "in talks" to join the latest Paul Thomas Anderson project, not Inherent Vice with Robert Downey Jr, but rather his new religious project originally called The Master, a Scientology-inspired story that focuses on a charismatic intellectual who creates a "faith-based organization" in America. Although Phoenix has been considering a number of roles since releasing his faux-documentary I'm Still Here, Variety is saying this will be his next role since that big stunt, and Entertainment Weekly has even confirmed his involvement as well.
According to reports, Phillip Seymour Hoffman is still attached to play Lancaster Dodd in P.T.A.'s The Master, a charismatic leader who creates a new religion in the 1950s. Though there is no official deal in place just yet, Phoenix would potentially play his main disciple, an alcoholic drifter named Freddie Sutton who becomes Dodd's closest follower only to later break away from him. There was a rumor at one point that Jeremy Renner was joining, but it looks like this is actually Phoenix's role to play instead. Variety adds that Megan Ellison's Annapurna Pictures, but not Bill Pohlad's River Road Entertainment, is apparently still "looking to finance the period pic," which is odd because Universal dumped the project last year and gave it the dreaded "delayed indefinitely" tagline, which is why P.T. Anderson went back to work on Inherent Vice.
More than anything, I'm intrigued by how everyone seems to be playing off this casting so nonchalantly like the project was never once considered to be "delayed indefinitely", especially so recently as just sevens months ago. I really hope this is a good sign for The Master, as I'm just desperate for another movie from the master himself, Paul Thomas Anderson. It's already been far too long since There Will Be Blood, even though that was 2007! We're keeping our fingers crossed for even more good news. Good casting choice?