Paul Thomas Anderson is back in business with billionairess

You might remember our article from September 2010 announcing that Paul Thomas Anderson’s upcoming feature The Master had been put on hold. Well, some five months later, Vulture claims Mr Anderson has now got not just one, but two features on the way.

Both Anderson’s Scientology drama The Master (still only a working title) and an adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s 2009 stoner detective novel, Inherent Vice, have found financing, thanks to twenty-five year old billionairess Megan Ellison, daughter of Larry Ellison.

The Master, which was dropped due to its anticipated USD$35 million budget, had Jeremy Renner and Philip Seymour-Hoffman lined up to play disciple and founder respectively of a fictional (although Scientology-inspired) spiritual movement called The Cause. Due to an influx of offers and interest following his Oscar-nominated performance in Ben Affleck’s The Town, Jeremy Renner is no longer associated with the picture but, according to Vulture, Seymour-Hoffman is still really interested in taking the lead role as alcoholic acolyte Freddie Sutton.

The second project Ellison is funding, Inherent Vice, is an adaptation of Pynchon’s seventh novel and with the go-ahead from Pynchon himself, Anderson is already onto his second draft of the screenplay. Inherent Vice is set in LA in 1969 and is the story of one Larry “Doc” Sportello, a stoner private detective who is hired by an ex-girlfriend to investigate her wealthy lover’s disappearance. Reports suggest that Robert Downey Jr. might be interested in the role, a stoner PI being something he’d no doubt excel at.

Ellison, who was once known as something of a party girl, seems to be serious about financing pictures, having co-financed the Coen Brothers’ recent, Oscar nominated hit True Grit with her brother David. She will also be putting up some funds for The Wettest County in the World, a screen adaptation of Matt Bondurant’s Depression-era novel to be directed by John Hillcoat (The Road) and starting Tom Hardy and Shia LaBeouf.

Discuss: Who should take the role opposite Seymour Hoffman now that Jeremy Renner is quite literally out of the picture?

One Response to “Paul Thomas Anderson is back in business with billionairess”

  1. >He could be a bit young for the part, but I'd like to see Jesse Eisenberg in a role like this. We know he can play obsessive!

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