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Tom Cruise Has Seen Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘The Master,’ Has “Issues” With It

Tom Cruise Has Seen Paul Thomas Anderson's 'The Master,' Has "Issues" With It

Since rumors started to fly about Paul Thomas Anderson‘s latest film, “The Master,” which was said, and has now pretty much been confirmed, to be about the much-mocked religion of Scientology, there’s been one question on the back of many our minds: what does Tom Cruise think about the whole thing? The megastar is, after all, both an Oscar nominee for his supporting turn in Anderson’s 1999 film “Magnolia,” and a leading light in, and often public spokesman for, the Church of Scientology, the very subject which his former director was tackling with his latest film.

Both Anderson and The Weinstein Company have been at pains to avoid publicly connecting the film with the religion, but it was clear from anyone who saw the footage unveiled at Cannes yesterday what the writer-director is up to with the project. Well, according to The Wrap, 1) Cruise and Anderson are still friends, and in touch, and 2) the filmmaker has actually screened a cut of his film for the actor. And what did Cruise think? Well, he’s not exactly been tweeting his reaction or anything, but according to The Wrap’s sources, he “has issues” with it. Which is probably to be expected. At the same time, he doesn’t seem to have kicked off, or threatened legal action, or defriended Anderson on Facebook, or killed the director with his Xenu mind powers or anything. The implication is it’s a kind of agree-to-disagree response.

Even if it’s not, it’s clear that the Weinstein Company and Anderson are being pretty transparent with the Scientologist community: Harvey W apparently wants to screen the picture to Hollywood’s other exponent of the religion, John Travolta. Possibly while giving him a back rub. Supposedly, it’s in part to determine whether the studio should avoid mentioning Scientology in their campaign, or play it up. We can’t imagine the leadership would be too keen on the latter.

To be honest, we find the whole thing a bit overblown. It’s clear at this point that Anderson used founder L. Ron Hubbard as a starting-off point for his film, but it’s also unlikely to be a full-on depiction of Scientology (and if he’s happy to show it to Cruise, then it’s probably not a straight attack, either). And the idea that Harvey Weinstein needs to bow down to the Scientology overlords is laughable; Scientology is bonkers, and secretive, and not necessarily a force for good in the world, but the same can pretty much be said for… well, every religion, and when you start to ascribe conspiratorial powers to them, it’s you that starts to look like the crackpot. Anyway, “The Master” hits theaters on October 12th, with or without the Church of Scientology’s seal of approval. 

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Dear Oliver,

Enough of your bigotted invective against Scientology. Don't confuse it with other religions. What ever happened to unbiased journalism? If you think it's bonkers, you undoubtedly believe the asinine, sensationalized stories in the news media (calculated to sell papers) and clearly have not read any books, applied the data therein to your life or anyone else's, have not taken any courses or had any direct experience using any of the procedures in Scientology which were expressly designed to help people. Not a force for good in the world? The hundreds of government agencies, and non-governmental organizations all over the world, would disagree with you, as they are using Scientology, in volume, as a force for good. Bottom line: your story is irresponsible journalism, not worthy of the word "journalism". Wake up call to the Editor of Indiewire: Get responsible, instead of okaying such "reporting".


I have a quick question. Who really cares what Tom Cruise thinks? Sure, I've grown up watching his movies and the freakshow that is his life. I'm not sure why anyone should care. You don't see people getting upset that Mel Gibson doesn't enjoy their films.

As for the debate over Renner or Phoenix, I'm sure Jeremy could have done this role but it's almost unimaginable after seeing Phoenix's performance. Not knocking J. Renner, he's a very good actor in my opinion and very good with action motives.
I'm just glad Phoenix is back to work making movies.

Mike Moran

The idea that all religions are as warped and evil as Scientology is frankly infantile. Judaism, Christianity and Islam all have their nutty/craven proponents but Scientology is run from the top down by lunatics bent on financial gain and total domination of the adherents who are lower on the totem pole. It's a pyramid scheme that's only legal because they sued the IRS into submission. Learn to read.


Well conspiracy theories aside I'm happy that Joaquin Phoenix got this role over Renner. Seems like a perfect role for him and I doubt Renner would have brought the same level of intensity to it that Phoenix seems like he will.


last paragraph is whack! i love the fact that every indie film buff wants to rip on religion but can't hold a menorah to the weinstiens or the warner brothers, what was bad about jewish brothers and immigrant sons taking hollywood to the next level? and as far as Stevo the Magnificent comments he is right in the pocket of truth.


"and not necessarily a force for good in the world, but the same can pretty much be said for… well, every religion"

Some people can use the faith in their religion to help them lead good, honest, and respectable lives, that help them get through their day. You sound just as naive about the individual and his faith as the religious bigots of the world. Not everyone who prays to a God likes to drop bombs on countries or blow themselves up at a crowded market place. This isn't a black or white subject matter. Nice job trying to inject your own view on the matter. Is this an editorial? This isn't proper journalism.


the poster of this article is a religion hating BIGOT. you claim all religions are secretive and bad for the world? indiewire has fallen so far, it is making tabloids look more credible. In fact, indiewire is now quoting tabloids. LOL!!

Stevo the Magnificent

Have to take issue with your assertion that no good has come from religion, you are right in the literal sense, but real Christianity IS NOT a religion, it's a relationship with the Creator through his one and only Son who died and rose again so we might have everlasting life… you can mock my response here til your heart's content, but it won't change the fact that it's not the Gospel of the Christ but man's often corruption of it that has led to many dark periods in our history (both distant and recent)…

As far as 'The Master' goes, if Tom Cruise "has issues" with it, there's the seal of approval for me right there, this is going to be GOOD…


I'm not partial to Scientology in any manner and form, but they know how to crank out some impressive propaganda:


I too think that John Travolta has bigger issues at hand than to worry about this film.


In my mind, John Travolta's whole life has been reduced to one headline from The Superficial: "So John Travolta May Or May Not Have Molested A Man Over Hamburgers"


Kind of ironic that you are publishing this story, given that your leak and spoiling of the usually secretive Anderson's script is what caused all the controversy in the first place and made the film almost implode (with Cruise "just happening" to pluck away PTA's original star Jeremy Renner and cinematographer Robert Elswit) before Megan Ellison stepped in to the rescue. Leave him alone. A major work by a major director making it to the screen unmolested is more important than IndieWire being able to garner some cheap salacious pageviews.


I'm actually impressed that PT Anderson had the balls to show this to Cruise, hopefully out of respect for him as a friend and colleague, rather than appeasing to a myth of power.

Freedom of belief is a wonderful thing, but most depictions in film, regardless of dogma, tend to ruffle a few feathers. Personally, I wonder if that speaks to a slight hypocrisy regarding the concept of faith itself; sure, no one likes to have their beliefs smeared, ridiculed, or cast in a negative light, but if one's faith in their beliefs is strong enough to come out swinging in its defense, shouldn't it be strong enough to render the concept of bad press irrelevant?

The notion that organized religion is as dependent on PR work as any profit seeking entity in the world is pretty sad.


Put it on the poster!


well, i love this. a whole fucking lot.


it's a full-on depiction of scientology. and of faith. and lack of reason.

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