Joaquin Phoenix Cast in P.T. Anderson's Upcoming Religious Project

April 12, 2011
Source: Variety, EW

Joaquin Phoenix

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?

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A5J4DX on Nov 13, 2018



A5J4DX on Nov 13, 2018


A great script all around, but not one I could see hollywood making. Then again, I couldn't see them making half of what PT Anderson creates.

Brad Bode on Apr 13, 2011


That's what baffles me about PT Anderson... I don't get it. He makes BRILLIANT, amazing movies that are loved by the entire filmmaking world, yet he can barely get funding to make new ones. Sure, they're not very commercial and barely make money, but I don't see how every studio isn't jumping at the bit to fund and support his projects. With a great marketing campaign, a great cast, one of these will end up being a huge hit and the awards attention I'm sure it'll get will only help.

Alex Billington on Apr 13, 2011


I'm so glad Joaquin is in PT Anderson's film "The Master" I think its rather ironic he's in a film with PS.Hoffman when many of JPs fans are convinced Hoffman stole Phoenix's Oscar.

mugwort on Apr 13, 2011


Get on it JP!! Phoenix is one of the unique talents among male actors in Hollywood, and am anxious to see him put it into use! He's definitely got the magnetism that's inherent in actors like Mickey Rourke and Marlon Brando.

Marcus on Apr 13, 2011



Kristen9834 on Apr 13, 2011


I agree! I want to see it!!

Alex Billington on Apr 13, 2011


The reason this will be a loser—or non-starter if financiers have a brain cell—is because this religious leader angle has been done to death on daytime soaps, nighttime crime dramas, fake-umentaries, even Lifetime TV. (Or was it Hallmark? Can't tell them apart.) Phoenix deserves a script and a more original concept that might attract some box-office. They'll have to pass the collection plate for this one!

Earl Graystoke on Apr 13, 2011


How often does a story that has been done to death get turned down by Hollywood these days? That's all that is being made, a reboot or in-visioning of another played out story.

Marcus on Apr 13, 2011


Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix in a Paul Thomas Anderson film...can't even imagine what that would be like. Jeremy Renner in the role of Sutton would be good to.

Silencio! on Apr 15, 2011

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