/Film has got the first teaser image for the film, unveiled at Cannes after news came last week that The Weinstein Co. had purchased distribution rights.
Originally titled, The Master, the film now remains untitled, but the project is one that Anderson has been working on for well over a year now, and has already found its leading cast in Philip Seymour Hoffman (Synecdoche, New York) and Joaquin Phoenix (Walk The Line).
Anderson is a five-time Academy Award nominee, and is one of the most highly praised directors currently making films. The current untitled film has had a bit of trouble getting off the ground, with Jeremy Renner (The Town) originally attached to take the lead role opposite Hoffman. However, Renner said last year that something hadn’t quite gelled for Anderson, and it now looks like Phoenix has taken over in Renner’s stead.
The teaser image is nothing particularly significant, in and of itself, but it serves to let us know that the ball is finally rolling on this project, and with financing, a leading cast, and a distributor now all in place, things are certainly looking up for the film, already highly anticipated.
The film is set in 1950s America, and revolves around,
“a man who returns after witnessing the horrors of WWII and tries to rediscover who he is in post-war America. He creates a belief system, something that catches on with other lost souls.”
Hoffman is set to be this man returning from the war, with Phoenix being one of these lost souls like Hoffman. The project is the first thing that Phoenix has signed on for since 2008’s Two Lovers, and his staged exit from acting, culminating in last year’s mockumentary, I’m Still Here. Filming is scheduled to begin next month in June, and is believed to be done at least in part in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Megan Ellison, of Annapurna Films, is the one who seemingly rescued Anderson’s project when she committed herself to funding it earlier in the year. Ellison is the daughter of Larry Ellison, co-founder and CEO of Oracle Corporation, a major software company, who is the fifth richest man in the world. Ellison is now making a real name for herself in the movie business, being an executive producer on the Coen brothers’ True Grit last year, as well as producing and executive producing The Wettest County in the World and Cogan’s Trade this year, respectively. She also recently won the rights to make at least two new Terminator films, with Arnie attached to star and Justin Lin (Fast Five) to direct.
Ellison is also said to be financing Anderson’s other project that he’s working on at the moment, which is the film adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s latest novel, Inherent Vice. Pynchon is an absolutely brilliant author, one of the best American writers of all time in my opinion, and if you’ve not read Inherent Vice, I highly recommend it. I personally cannot wait to see Anderson’s take on it, especially since Robert Downey, Jr. is expected to be taking the lead role of Doc Sportello.
We may still have a year or so to wait until Anderson’s untitled project comes to our cinemas, but we can be grateful that the project is now finally coming together. With filming starting next month, hopefully we’ll be hearing more about it in the coming weeks. And now, the teaser image: