As the Weinsteins send mixed messages about where Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master” will wind up on the festival circuit, we can now rule out New York. The new September release (9/14 limited and 9/25 wide) could still mean a Venice or Telluride bow or a screening at Fantastic Fest (9/20-27). The Weinsteins are notorious for shuffling their release plans as it suits them, often infuriating exhibitors. But this fall they have plenty of high-profile projects to juggle, from David O. Russell’s “The Silver Linings Playbook” to December 25 opener “Django Unchained,” written and directd by Quentin Tarantino.
The original release was October 12; usually a September opening does not suggest a major Oscar push. It may be that publicity shy Paul Thomas Anderson doesn’t want to participate in that game. He did do more press than usual for his last film, “There Will Be Blood,” which was nominated for eight Oscars and won two. Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman may have to shoulder the award season burden this time around.
The Weinsteins are thus also moving Andrew Dominik’s Cannes entry “Killing Them Softly,” which stars Brad Pitt as a hitman, from September 25 to October 19.