Paul Thomas Anderson (“There Will Be Blood,” “Boogie Nights”) has lined up his next film at Universal Pictures – a 1950’s drama with Philip Seymour Hoffman as the founder of a new religion reports Variety.
Hoffman plays “the Master,” as in “master of ceremonies,” a charismatic intellectual who hatches a faith-based organization that begins to catch on in America in 1952.
The story will focus on the relationship between the Master and Freddie, a 20-something drifter who becomes the leader’s lieutenant.
As the faith begins to gain a fervent following, Freddie finds himself questioning the belief system he has embraced, and his mentor.
Though it sounds like a skewering of Mormonism and Scientology, the themes are that of belief systems becoming religions and some people’s need to believe in a higher power.
The $35 million project has not yet been greenlit as Anderson has yet to deliver a finished script. JoAnne Sellar will produce.