Paul Thomas Anderson‘s (There Will Be Blood) long gestating Scientology flick may be getting back Joaquin Phoenix into the moving pictures.
With Jeremy Renner now very busy in franchise world and UN that teams up with him in new film on Afghanistan, Variety reports that talks have started with Joaquin Phoenix to take on the part of Freddie Sutton, a former alcoholic who becomes the trainee to Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman), the alluring leader of the not so slightly hidden Scientology-esque cult.
The screenplay title of this Anderson’s postponed project was The Master, named by charismatic intellectual played by Hoffman, and according to the leaked scenes it is rather critical of Scientology – the story chronicles a disaffected disciple’s relationship with the founder of a new faith. Sutton, possibly played by Phoenix, signs a contract which all Scientologist members sign, which means they are members for billions of years and becomes The Masters right-hand man only to begin questioning his manipulative mentor.
Megan Anderson and his longtime producing partner JoAnne Sellar will produce through the former’s Ghoulardi Film Co.
Anderson is also producing an adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s detective novel Inherent Vice, which is going to star Robert Downey Jr.
Phoenix last feature role was in James Gray‘s 2008 drama Two Lovers.
See the BBC investigation of the Scientology cult below.