News comes Monday that Paul Thomas Anderson is set to direct the as-yet-untitled project formerly known as The Master, and that The Weinstein Company has bought its worldwide distribution rights heading into Cannes later this week.
The film, fully financed by Megan Ellison‘s Annapurna for around $35 million, has Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix “locked” in roles. Hoffman, who worked with Anderson on Sydney (aka Hard Eight, 1996), Boogie Nights (1997), Magnolia (1999) and Punch-Drunk Love (2002), will play a World War II veteran who founds a belief system to help him and others cope with post-war life in America. The film is being touted as a “religious drama”, with parallels to the Scientology faith.
It will be Anderson’s first film since 2007’s There Will Be Blood. Production begins June 13.