• It’s been a while since we’ve heard any news about the film adaptation of Lois Lowry’s dystopian novel The Giver, but things are moving forward. Jeff Bridges has been attached to the project for over a year to play the Giver, and now, Brenton Thwaites has been cast as Jonas, the young boy chosen to be trained by the Giver. Thwaites has appeared on a number of Australian televisions show and is also portraying the Young Prince in Maleficent. Fans of the book will remember we meet Jonas just as he’s about to turn 12. Thwaites is already in his 20s. Phillip Noyce (Patriot Games) is set to direct the project for The Weinstein Company. Filming will commence in South Africa this fall. [Deadline]
Tag: Paul Thomas Anderson (1-10 of 11)
Casting Net: Joaquin Phoenix and Paul Thomas Anderson, together again...maybe. Plus: a 'Best Man' sequel, Reese Witherspoon
• Joaquin Phoenix is currently in talks to join Paul Thomas Anderson’s adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice, a classic Los Angeles noir set around the time of the Manson family arrest and trial. Robert Downey, Jr.’s name had been floating around the project for a little while, but we’ll be thrilled if Inherent Vice brings The Master duo together again. [Variety]
• Reese Witherspoon is in talks to star in a film about the Lost Boys of Sudan – the name given to the over 20,000 boys who were displaced after the devastating Second Sudanese Civil War. Reportedly titled The Good Lie, Margaret Nagle (Boardwalk Empire) wrote the screenplay, and Philippe Falardeau (Monsieur Lazhar) is set to direct. Witherspoon has not had a theatrical release since This Means War, but she can be seen in Jeff Nichols’ (Take Shelter) Mud, opening in theaters on April 26. [The Wrap]
At an Austin Film Festival panel discussion on Friday afternoon, James Franco revealed how Paul Thomas Anderson courted him for the role of Freddie Quell, since brought to vivid life by Joaquin Phoenix, in The Master. The actor-director-hyphenate extraordinaire was in town to present Francophrenia, his experimental documentary about his time playing the smirking villain Franco on the ABC soap opera General Hospital.
Towards the end of the 75-minute conversation, an audience member asked Franco to discuss a specific movie role on his resume that had initially intimidated him. Franco couldn’t really think of one, which reminded him of a funny story.
\If I were to compile a list of my ten favorite movie experiences in the time I’ve been at EW, for number one — just edging out the night I spent drinking into the wee hours with Russell Crowe — I’d probably have to choose the first time I saw Boogie Nights at the 1997 Toronto Film Festival. It was a little like the first time I saw Pulp Fiction — Boogie Nights had that kind of virtuoso rock & roll Gen-X Scorsese dazzle, and it gave you that kind of brain-spinning cinematic high. Its writer-director, Paul Thomas Anderson, had taken on the most daringly degraded subject matter imaginable (he made a movie about beautiful dumb clucks who “acted” in porn films and thought that they were real stars), and out of that audacity he spun a story that was dark, exhilarating, moving, scary, and true. READ FULL STORY
Paul Thomas Anderson released the final trailer for The Master yesterday, revealing footage that didn’t make the final cut of his critically acclaimed film. The new scenes reaffirm Joaquin Phoenix’s character Freddie Quell’s erratic, unpredictable, and animalistic nature, while stressing Philip Seymour Hoffman’s character Lancaster Dodd’s charisma, charm, and perversion. Watch it below.
Paul Thomas Anderson sounds tired of talking about it. Philip Seymour Hoffman is straight-up sick of it. And yet the question won’t go away: How much of The Master is really about Scientology? Anderson has admitted that L. Ron Hubbard was part of the inspiration for his new movie (out this weekend in limited release), in which Hoffman stars as Lancaster Dodd, a cult leader with a team of disciples (played by Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, and Laura Dern, among others) who cling to his every vague pronouncement about the secrets of life. Like Hubbard, Dodd is an avid seaman who preaches an enticing mix of pseudoscience and pop psych in the 1950s. But Anderson has been clear that Hubbard was only one of many influences on his movie, while Hoffman has flat-out said The Master is “not a Scientology movie.”
It’s easy to understand why plenty of people (myself included) would love it if The Master really were a Scientology roman à clef. Who wouldn’t want to see a behind-the-curtain origin story of one of the most-discussed, least-understood religious movements in recent history? The Tom Cruise-Katie Holmes divorce only makes the matter even more timely. And “the Scientology movie” is certainly a quicker read (not to mention an easier sell) than a more nuanced description of the sprawling, purposefully open-ended movie.
But lurking behind the “Is it or isn’t it?” debate is another question that deserves an answer: Why does it matter? To quote Roger Ebert entirely out of context, “It’s not what a movie is about, but how it’s about it.” Any movie — and certainly one with such a pedigreed cast and crew — deserves to be judged on its merits as art and entertainment, not just as social commentary. The Master isn’t a thinly veiled biopic like Citizen Kane or a not-veiled-at-all exposé like The Social Network. If the movie connects with viewers (and so far it’s doing a pretty solid job), it’ll undoubtedly have a lot more to do with its success as a drama than any link — real or imagined — to Scientology.
But that’s just one opinion. What do you think? Do you care if The Master is about Scientology?
because I was going to acquiesce either.”
The Church of Scientology denied trying to influence Anderson’s film, which opens today.
13 Signs You’re Watching a Paul Thomas Anderson Movie
How ‘The Master’ almost own everything at the Venice Film Festival
Philip Seymour Hoffman really doesn’t want to talk about Scientology
Last night Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest, The Master, screened in front of eager crowds at the Toronto Film Festival. But it’s the awards given out at the Venice Film Festival–the oldest international festival in the world–Saturday night that have people chattering.
According to reports, sources close to jury head Michael Mann say that Paul Thomas Anderson’s film--about a haunted alcoholic (Joaquin Phoenix) who returns home from fighting World War II but feels lost until he’s taken under the wing of a charismatic spiritual leader played by Philip Seymour Hoffman (who really, really, really doesn’t want to talk about Scientology)–was to be awarded the top prize, the Golden Lion. It was also due to win awards for directing and for acting.
But the Venice Film Festival has a rule that doesn’t allow any one movie to win more than two awards, so reportedly the jury re-deliberated and decided to award the film to Pieta, a mother and son drama from Korean director Kim Ki-duk instead. Anderson (after a bit of confusion during presenting) won best director and Hoffman and Phoenix split the prize for acting.
This isn’t the first time that a Paul Thomas Anderson movie has gotten excluded due to rules: remember back in 2007 when Jonny Greenwood’s score for There Will Be Blood was disqualified for an Oscar due to a technicality?
UPDATED: An earlier version of this article mistakenly said Paul Thomas Anderson won a special jury award. Anderson was, in fact, awarded the Silver Lion for directing. The special jury prize went to Paradise: Faith, from Austrian director Ulrich Seidl.
A new trailer for Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master continues the impressionistic tone of the film’s advertising campaign. There’s a bit of stirring oratory from Philip Seymour Hoffman. There’s Joaquin Phoenix going full Method, raging and strangling and smooching. And there’s Amy Adams, quietly whispering “The only way to defend ourselves is to attack.”
It remains unclear just how closely the Hoffman character is based on real-life virtuoso L. Ron Hubbard. But we can all agree he has a hell of a mustache. Watch the trailer: READ FULL STORY
After a couple tantalizing-if-oblique teasers of Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master trickled across the Internet over the past few months, the film’s first full trailer gives us a much more complete picture of its story: WWII vet Freddie Sutton (Joaquin Phoenix) struggles to find his way after the war, and ultimately finds himself by the side of Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and his wary wife Mary Sue (Amy Adams). A self-described “writer, doctor, nuclear physicist [and] theoretical philosopher,” Dodd is also as the beguiling head of a faith-based organization, into which Freddie gets deeply involved.
That organization has been rumored to be based on Scientology, and Dodd on its founder L. Ron Hubbard, and this trailer certainly features lines that echo common criticisms of the religion. One skeptic says that “good science by definition allows for more than one opinion” before suggesting Dodd’s group is a “cult,” and Dodd’s own son Val (Friday Night Lights‘ Jesse Plemons) tells Freddie of his father, “He’s making all this up as he goes along — you don’t see that?”
Check out the trailer below: READ FULL STORY
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