Just to show that this is an equal-opportunities blog – I distribute my contempt equally – I’m going to shift my focus from the Catholic Church to another ‘get rich quick’ pyramid racket.
Prominent moviemaker Paul Thomas Anderson, the writer/director/producer of such classics as There Will Be Blood and Boogie Nights, was all set to go on his latest venture The Master. He’d assembled his cast, begun rehearsals, and was ready to start filming. Then…
… nothing. The plug was pulled.
With a director of Anderson’s bankability plus a cast including Philip Seymour (Capote) Hoffman , Jeremy (The Hurt Locker) Renner and maybe even Reese (generic blonde cipher) Witherspoon, what could possibly have gone wrong?
Well, some say it was because The Master was a satire on Scientology, tenth-rate pretend sci-fi hack L. Ron Hubbard’s practical joke on society. More specifically, the titular Master was apparently a sendup of Elrond himself. And if there’s one thing religion – any religion – can’t stand, it’s a mirror. Specifically, a mirror being held up by a smartarse.
All this is speculation, however. I’m sure the fact that Creative Artists Agency, the casting agency that represents Witherspoon and which was packaging The Master, also handles the infamously strident $cientology mouthpiece Tom “Lofty” Cruise is purely and simply a complete coincidence. We all know that Cruise is completely nuts, and that he has a great deal of influence in Hollywood circles, but there doesn’t appear to be any evidence that he and/or his cronies put the lean on Anderson’s financial backers, River Road.
Or is that what they want us to think..?
Of course, the other possibilty – that it was just a shit film – is still on the table.