Deadline.com reported yesterday that new life has been breathed into Paul Thomas Anderson’s next movie project thanks to Harvey Weinstein.
I don’t know about you, but this Scientology watcher got goosebumps reading that announcement.
See, Anderson, the fine director of such films as Boogie Nights, Magnolia, and There Will Be Blood, has been working on this next film for several years, and lots of details about it have leaked out over that time.
Under the working title The Master, Anderson’s project looks uncannily like a biopic of L. Ron Hubbard and the early days of Scientology. And now it not only has a director in Anderson, two big stars in Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix, but also the mighty thews of Harvey Weinstein giving this thing momentum.
I think this thing is gonna get made!
Now, I haven’t seen Harvey in a while, not since that time I stumbled across a barrel full of his recycling and made off with a treasure trove of his trash, and I know some other websites love to hound him about his finances and stuff, but you have to think a guy like Harvey, whether he’s been battered and bruised or not, is not for a minute going to put up with any guff from the likes of Scientology leader David Miscavige if he wants to make a movie which may or may not be about a disillusioned WWII vet inventing a bullshit “religion” and turning it into a major moneymaker. Right?
For the last year or so, we’ve been seeing summaries of the project that go something like this:
As a recap, The Master is a Scientology-inspired religious project that focuses on a charismatic intellectual who hatches a faith-based organization that begins to catch on in America in 1952. The film is mainly about the relationship between “The Master” (Hoffman) and his apprentice…a “20-something drifter” who later finds himself questioning the belief system that he had embraced and his mentor. — Firstshowing.net
According to Deadline.com, the script has changed, and it now describes the project like this:
Hoffman stars as a man who returns after witnessing the horrors of WWII and tries to rediscover who he is in post-war America. He creates a belief system, something that catches on with other lost souls.
Well, whatever. I mean, if you’re going to cast Philip Seymour Hoffman as the leader of a new belief system in 1952, we sort of know what you’re going for, don’t we?
Tony Ortega is the editor-in-chief of The Village Voice. Since 1995, he’s been writing about Scientology at several publications. Among his other stories about L. Ron Hubbard’s organization:
The Larry Wollersheim Saga — Scientology Finally Pays For Its Fraud
The Tory Bezazian (Christman) Story — How the Internet Saved A Scientologist From Herself
The Jason Beghe Defection — A Scientology Celebrity Goes Rogue
The Paul Haggis Ultimatum — The ‘Crash’ Director Tells Scientology to Shove It
The Marc Headley Escape — ‘Tom Cruise Told Me to Talk to a Bottle’
The Jefferson Hawkins Stipulation — Scientology’s former PR genius comes clean
The Daniel Montalvo Double-Cross — Scientology lures a young defector into a trap
A Church Myth Debunked — Scientology and Proposition 8
Daniel Montalvo Strikes Back — Scientology Hit with Stunning Child-Labor Lawsuits
When Scientologists Attack — The Marty Rathbun Intimidation
A Scientologist Excommunicated — The Michael Fairman SP Declaration
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 10, 2011