Paul Thomas Anderson is working on his next project as of yet untitled and he has cast Philip Seymour Hoffman in the lead as a founder of a new religious organization in the 1950s. The film is set up at Universal, which will make a decision about whether to greenlight the pic, with a $35 million budget, once Anderson delivers a finished script.
Hoffman, who has played supporting roles in most of Anderson's past films, this time will be at the center, playing "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 core is the relationship between the Master and Freddie, a twentysomething 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.