The Master is the eagerly awaited Paul Thomas Anderson film about a man (played by Philip Seymour Hoffman) who starts a cult-like religion in the 1950s.
Sound like anyone, maybe with the first initial L.?
Well, Hoffman says this movie has nothing whatsoever to do with Scientology.
But the Hoffman character happens to exhibit some distinct similarities to Hubbard, and the filmmakers are being very careful about how to handle that.
As you may have heard, Anderson has been showing prints of the film to famous Scientology stars, so they’ll approve it as inoffensive.
The idea, I guess, is to convince them that is not about Scientology, but if it is, then it’s something that won’t invoke all kinds of ire and abuse.
Tom Cruise–who appeared in Anderson’s 1999 cult film Magnolia–said he had some issues with parts of the film. (I bet a tiny re-edit is in store as a result.)
And next up, The Master will be shown to John Travolta, I guess when the actor gets a free moment in between grabbing for…the phone to call his lawyers.
But why are we being so sensitive here?
When they make movies about 9/11, do they call famous Muslims and make sure the film doesn’t seem to about them?
Let’s have a movie about Scientology!
And lets have them say that’s what it is!
It doesn’t have to be a slam job. We can watch and decide for ourselves whether L. should rot in hell.
And either way, it’ll make a terrific movie.
I even know who should play L.!
(F. Murray Abraham. He was great as Salieri.)