Thursday, December 03, 2009

Anderson Has Faith In 'The Master'...

Writer/director Paul Thomas "There Will Be Blood" Anderson is developing his next feature, a period drama set in the 1950's, to star actor Philip Seymour "Magnolia" Hoffman playing the founder of a new religion.

Producer JoAnne Sellar has budgeted the film at $35 million, currently being set up at Universal, who are waiting to greenlight the project, dependent on Anderson delivering a screenplay that won't get the studio into hot water with religious groups, scientologists and mormons.

In the script, Hoffman will be known as 'The Master' Of Ceremonies, an intellectual who starts a faith-based organization in 1952.

At the heart of the story is the relationship between The Master and 'Freddie', a drifter who becomes the 'lieutenant' of the new religion.

Anderson says the film will follow how a belief system can easily graduate into an organized religion.

The last time a film-maker effectively tackled the subject, was in the 1960 feature "Elmer Gantry", about a slick con man and sincere female evangelist that sell religion to small town America.

Adapted by director Richard Brooks, the film was based on the 1927 novel by author Sinclair Lewis, starring Burt Lancaster and Jean Simmons

Sneak Peek "There Will Be Blood" and "Elmer Gantry"......