March 26, 2017

Is Joaquin Phoenix coming out of retirement for Paul Thomas Anderson?

By Sean O’Connell The idea of Paul Thomas Anderson, director of “Boogie Nights,” “Magnolia” and “There Will Be Blood,” helming a picture based loosely on L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology has me salivating. Drink my milkshake, indeed!

The as-yet-untitled project – at one point known as “The Master” – is moving ahead with Philip Seymour Hoffman and a unretired Joaquin Phoenix, Deadline reports. The Weinstein Co. has agreed to distribute.

Hoffman reportedly will play the creator of a faith-based organization during the 1950s. As for Phoenix, he’ll play a lost soul who joins Hoffman’s religion and becomes his right-hand man.

It is a return to form for most involved. Anderson has not directed since “Blood,” while Phoenix pretended to retire for the benefit of brother-in-law Casey Affleck’s experimental documentary, “I’m Still Here.”

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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