Paul Thomas Anderson’s CO$ film set with Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman


Last month, we discussed Joaquin Phoenix’s return to acting with his prospective involvement in director/writer Paul Thomas Anderson’s (and somehow, until looking at the above photo, I never noticed how good looking he is) untitled religious drama that looked to present a disciple’s horrific experiences with a faith-based movement that very closely resembled Scientology. At that point, Philip Seymour Hoffman was tapped to play “The Master” while Phoenix was circling the role of the disciple who begins to question the cult-like ways of his faith. Now, Deadline has confirmed that both Phoenix and Hoffman are “locked” into their roles, and the Weinsteins have acquired Anderson’s project. Here are even more details:

The Weinstein Company has won a quiet but fevered bidding battle for worldwide distribution rights to the untitled next film by Paul Thomas Anderson. The film begins production June 13, with Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix so far set to star. Megan Ellison is financing. It is Anderson’s first trip behind the camera since There Will Be Blood.

Hoffman and Phoenix are locked. As for the actresses, I’m told that Anderson is eyeing such women as Madisen Beaty (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) for a role, with Amy Adams, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo‘s Lena Endre and Laura Dern also mentioned as actresses Anderson is interested in. The auction was held at CAA headquarters late last week, with Fox Searchlight also squarely in the mix.

This is the project that Anderson has worked on for a long time, once under the title The Master. He has greatly overhauled the script and now, 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. The film is fully financed by Ellison’s Annapurna banner.

[From Deadline]

Considering what an amazing job that Anderson did with helming There Will Be Blood (that movie also took an interesting and very cynical view of religion and resulted in a Best Actor Academy Award for Daniel Day Lewis), this could do wonders for getting Joaquin Phoenix’s career back out of the gutter. As for the Scientology aspects of the faith-based movement at the center of the film, a few notes on Anderson’s ongoing script development indicate that the year 1952 shall be of the utmost importance, which, interestingly enough, was the year that Dianetics really took off and L. Ron Hubbard founded the Hubbard College to train auditors. While the movie obviously won’t mention Scientology by name, I think it’s pretty clear that Anderson was motivated to write this script to expose what happens behind the scenes when a movement transforms into a religion. And the resulting fallout should be rather delicious.





Photos courtesy of WENN and AllMoviePhoto

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28 Responses to “Paul Thomas Anderson’s CO$ film set with Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman”

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  1. filthycute says:

    this is going to be an incredible movie!

  2. jc126 says:

    I hope this movie gets good and IS good. I would definitely see it. Like Paul Thomas Anderson as a director, LOVE Philip Seymour Hoffman as an actor.

  3. Sumodo1 says:

    JP is gone and Joaquin Phoenix is back. Well played. After all, he “played” all of us with that faux-cumentary directed by Casey Affleck. Joaquin owes us one helluva performance. BTW, he is very good friends with Philip Seymour Hoffman, who was in the mock-umentary and must have been in on the gag.

  4. Erika says:

    Very excited about this film. Great director, great actors – and seriously, it’s about time someone (however artistically) skewers and dissects Scientology.

    I can only hope that the film points out how eerily similar Scientology is to other religions, and pokes some fun at anyone willing to buy into a bunch of superstitions in exchange for a promise of some sort of “salvation.”

  5. Solveig says:

    Ah, this is the best news I read in a week! I’m so glad to see that P.T. Anderson is going to make a new movie.
    I really love all of his works (Punch-drunk Love, not so much) and Magnolia is his best movie so far. I loved There Will Be Blood too, mostly because Daniel Day-Lewis is outregeously good in it, but I kind of dislike the way it ends: it seemed that P.T.A. didn’t really know how to end the movie.
    Anyway, if Philip Seymour Hoffman is in this new movie, it can’t be bad. And Joquin Phoenix too is good, although he’s completely nuts…

  6. jessiee says:

    I don’t care what anyone says, I think Joaquin looks amazing in that picture. He might be crazy, but he sure is hot.

  7. Amandahugandkiss says:

    I never realised how much Hoffman looks like Tim Gunn.

  8. the_blonde_one says:

    see now, joaquin is the epitome of how I like my troubled beautiful and controversial actor/ess to be: talented. SOOO talented. I repeat: talented. actually, I’ll break it down to syllables in case Lindsey reads this: tal-en-ted

  9. bluhare says:

    I think Joaquin Phoenix has real hot capabilities as well. Very.

  10. Jackson says:

    Can I buy my ticket now?

    And I’m with jessiee – JP looks great. Very striking eyes.

  11. John Wayne Lives says:

    Oh. Hell. Yeah. In everyway.

  12. the original bellaluna says:

    OMG! Doesn’t Joaquin resemble a younger “Tig” from Sons of Anarchy? Look at THE EYES! I’ve never noticed (or paid attention) until now!!

    Well, this in one I’ll watch, even though There Will Be Blood was a painfully slow viewing experience.

  13. AENFLEX says:

    I am so thankful. If even a few people are saved….

  14. Anguishedcorn says:

    Good God. I never gave up on Joaquin, and that first picture just makes my knees melt.

    This is going to be all kinds of awesome.

  15. Nanea says:

    I’m very much looking forward to this while at the same time keeping my fingers crossed that some federal agency finally grows a pair and revokes that tax-exempt status for that cult/Ponzi scheme/labor camp.

  16. Brittney says:

    So it’s confirmed?! BEST news all day.

    Joaquin has been my #1 favorite actor since the 90s (Inventing the Abbotts), and his crazy act made me SO nervous and angry. The fact that he’s teaming up with the man who made Magnolia/TWBB — AND skewering the Scientologists (I live close to one of their headquarters, and oh my God the crazy) — completely makes up for it. I absolutely cannot wait to see this.

  17. anti says:


  18. lbeees says:

    I drink your milkshake, I drink it up.

    I am so taking my mom to see this.

  19. truthzbetta says:

    This thing isn’t like all religions.

    This cult is far worse and it’s intentional.

    I hope this paves the way for a movie maker to fully take on CoS and maybe turn L. Ron’s son’s version of events or a real life cultist’s experiences during and after leaving into something for the masses.

    Being too artsy about this won’t do much. But if it makes someone else in Hollywood open to telling the truth then that would be good.

  20. Madisyn says:

    I’m looking forward to this film, I just hope the CO$ doesn’t scare off the great actors/actresses mentioned above. You know they will try and that may scare some other great talent away too.

    @ the_blonde_one, co-sign. Please Mr. Anderson, please, PLEASE, do NOT PRETEND to hire Blohan.

  21. lin234 says:

    Yikes, brave man. I’d be scared of sudden “accidents” on set. I’m sure the cult will try to get their hands on the script as soon as it’s available and will have their people in the industry work behind the scenes to keep an eye on things and make sure nothing too negative is filmed in the movie.

    The secrets behind that cult just make me nervous. Good luck to them!

  22. harfang says:

    Joaquin looks fantastic! I am so psyched for this. His performance in Gladiator has stayed with me, just like a truly epic and disturbing villain performance by Willem Dafoe or (back in the day) The Walken stays with everyone.

  23. Chris says:

    Anderson, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix, wow talk about a dream team.

  24. gg says:

    @ Erika – $cientology is an organization that is run on a ponzi scheme and demands extreme amounts of money to be involved in. Actual religions do not do that. EVER. I’m sorry for you that you feel you have to project your personal disdain for sprituality/religion, but it doesn’t apply to the rest of us who want to understand something deeper than this plane of existence.

  25. AgaricusDurer says:

    I. love. PSH. Hot guy Friday major overlook!

  26. Bella Bella says:

    I think PSH is delicious! HGF certainly! Joaquin has always been a favorite even if he is coo coo bananas. It will be interesting to see how he handles the role considering his upbringing in a cult.

  27. Eve says:

    I absolutely love Joaquin Phoenix’s acting. He’s one of my top five favorite actors — has won the spot since I watched his amazing performance in Gladiator (now the only reason why I watch this movie today), how fantastic was he by turning a one-dimensional, borderline caricatural character into that mix of pain, hate and disappointment that Commodus was? Only talent can do that. Real, natural talent.

  28. rita says:

    I love Joaquin so much for what he is for the animals! He rocks!