Friday, December 9, 2011

More developments on PTA's "The Master"

Paul Thomas Anderson has been gone now for as much as he had been between his glaring romantic dramedy Punch Drunk Love (2002) and the period oil epic There Will Be Blood (2007), two of the most remarkable masterpieces of modern cinema (and as far as my preferences go, of all time). By the end of 2009 he was set to start a new film, an alleged biopic of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. Prior to shooting, things got off the tracks with the retreat from the investors and the dropout by Jeremy Renner, time when he may have started the now possibly finished script adaptation of a Thomas Pynchon's book, the 60's neon-lit neo-noir Inherent Vice.

Eight months ago, film lover Megan Ellison, daughter of the millionaire Larry Ellison, solved all our existential problems - some of mines, at least, and I do bet she couldn't take it anymore either - when she announced, alongside Annapurna Pictures the financial securing of both projects: The Master and Inherent Vice. Anderson decided to postpone his first incursion through film noir and rewrote the first one, from which Scientology would no longer be the backbone and leaving the fans querying themselves about a new title. The current promising synopsis goes something like this: Set in the 50's, a charismatic intellectual (Hoffman) launches a faith-based organization, creating a new religious belief system, and taps a young drifter (Phoenix) as his right-hand man. The drifter eventually finds himself drawn to the Master's daughter (Amy Adams) and distanced to the cause, questioning the nature what they've embraced and the authority of his mentor. An ambiguous promo-art poster came to public one month later, at the Cannes Film Festival'11, titled as Paul Thomas Anderson Untitled Project, announcing Philip Seymor Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix as the main stars.

After the halts, by today we can surely assume "The Master" as one of the most expected films for 2012 (or 2013, let's hope not). The film was shot with a brilliant cast - the aforementioned; Amy Adams ("The Fighter"), Laura Dern ("Blue Velvet"), Kevin J. O'Connor ("There Will Be Blood"), Lena Endre ("Millenium" Swedish trilogy), David Warshofski ("There Will Be Blood"), Jesse Plemons ("Friday Night Lights"), Raimi Malek ("The Pacific") e Madisen Beaty ("The Curious Case of Benjamin Button") - and the screenplay has received huge appraisal from those who got their hands on the leaks. The soundtrack will be composed by the 2008 Oscar-robbed Johnny Greenwood, the guitarist from Radiohead, responsible for "There Will Be Blood" music. Good news kept coming as Amy revealed (to Collider) she takes part in one of PTA's beautiful virtuous long-shots and that working with him was "amazing" and as Emily Watson ("Punch-Drunk Love") stated (to Cigarettes & Wines) "I saw the first half an hour (...) It's incredible. I'm not going to say anything more on that. He'll kill me!".

The film is currently in post-production and now we can see some very intriguing backstage photos. My excitement was already settled when I suddenly read that Robert Downey Jr and Paul may actually be doing a film together, possibly "Inherent Vice", giving some factual basis to some long-run rumors.

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