- Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Jesse Plemons, Ambyr Childers, Rami Malek, Martin Dew, Joshua Close, Jillian Bell, Kevin J. Walsh, Lena Endre, Madisen Beaty, Lorelai Hoey, Kevin J. O'Connor, Patty McCormack, Mimi Cozzens, Barbara Brownell, Brady Rubin, Jill Andre, Christopher Evan Welch, Laura Dern, Barlow Jacobs, Thomas Knickerbocker, Jennifer Neala Page, Amy Ferguson, Leonida A. Bautista, Frank Bettag, William O'Brien
- Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
- Writer: Paul Thomas Anderson
- Producers: Paul Thomas Anderson, Megan Ellison, Daniel Lupi, JoAnne Sellar
- Executive Producers: Ted Schipper, Adam Somner
- Casting: Cassandra Kulukundis
- Costume Design: Mark Bridges
- D.O.P.: Mihai Malaimare Jr.
- Editors: Leslie Jones, Peter McNulty
- Makeup: Kate Biscoe
- Music: Jonny Greenwood
- Production Designs: David Crank, Jack Fisk
- Set Decoration: Amy Wells
After returning from the Second World War, having witnessed many horrors, a charismatic intellectual creates a faith based organization in an attempt to provide meaning to his life. He becomes known as "The Master". His right-hand man, a former drifter, begins to question both the belief system and The Master as the organization grows and gains a fervent following.
- Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
- Filming Locations: Hawaii, USA; Los Angeles, USA
- MPAA Warning: Sexual content, graphic nudity and language
- Production Budget: $40 million
- Production Companies: Weinstein Company, Ghoulardi Film Company, Annapurna Pictures
- Production Schedule: 2 June 2011 - 4 September 2011
2012 Guide Analysis: "Many have been keenly anticipating Paul Thomas Anderson's first effort since his much acclaimed 2007 drama "There Will Be Blood", but they've had to wait a while as development stalled and started again more than once with differing reasons as to the cause.
At $35 million, several studios were suggested to have gotten cold feet about the potential backlash from organised religious groups. At another point Anderson himself wasn't quite ready to shoot in the timeframe given. The project was all but dead until indie financier Megan Ellison stepped in followed by the Weinstein Co. who is distributing.
Reviews of early script drafts had this painted as a skewering of Scientology and creator L. Ron Hubbard's life and early teachings, but said script has since undergone major overhauls so no-one is entirely sure how much of that remains.
The plot now has Hoffman playing a charismatic man who returns after witnessing the horrors of WWII and creates a new religion which pulls in Phoenix's alcoholic sailor who is at first a devout convert and later begins to question the founder's true motives.
The relationship dynamics between religious leaders and their followers and how trauma affects people's outlooks on spirituality are just some of the issues PTA will no doubt explore. Yet with conflicting reports about just what we're in store for and even how he's shooting the film, we're really not going to know until a festival premiere later in the year."