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15 New Photos From ‘The Master,’ Philip Seymour Hoffman Still Insists It’s Not About Scientology

15 New Photos From 'The Master,' Philip Seymour Hoffman Still Insists It's Not About Scientology

Another new deluge of photos from Paul Thomas Anderson‘s “The Master” has arrived. Directed by Anderson and starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams, the picture is one of the most anticipated films left in the year. Said to be a riff on L. Ron Hubbard and the nascent beginnings of Scientology, the early screenplay, trailer and several materials from the film don’t do much to counter this idea. But the creative team still insist they’re weaving a different tale.

“It’s not the L. Ron Hubbard story,” Hoffman told Entertainment Weekly in this weekend’s issue via C&V. “[Scientology] was one of the bigger movements at the time, but there were a lot of movements at that time. There’s nothing about how I’m behaving or talking that echoes [Hubbard]. I thought of a lot of other bigger-than-life personalities, charismatic people like Orson Welles. Joaquin’s character is like a beaten dog,” says Hoffman. “No matter where he goes, [Quell] gets into severe trouble. And somehow I’m able to deal with him.”

Producer JoAnne Sellar echoed the same sentiment. “People are going to have to draw their own conclusions to that aspect of the movie,” she said. “[Anderson] is interested in how veterans came back from World War II. They were these lost souls who were uncertain about their future.”

Well, we’ll find out soon enough, “The Master” arrives in theaters on September 14th and also arrives a few days earlier at the Venice and Toronto International Film Festivals. [Cigarettes & Vine Facebook/Cigarettes & Vine]

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A friend of mine saw the trailer the other day (before Hope Springs) and wihtout knowing anything about the film she thought it was based on L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology.

It looks great and I can't wait to see it.


One of my most anticipated of the year. Joaquin Phoenix is phenomenal. Drooling over his performance.

Tom Cruise

i can't wait to see this


I sure hope PTA has several extra copies of the film with them at the Venice and Toronto International Film Festivals, when a film called The Profit (loosely based on a scientology-like cult) was to be shown in Toronto a decade ago, the cult had OSA (Office of Special Affairs: read Dept of Dirty Tricks) impersonate the director to steal the film from projection room. It was never shown in TO and scientology got a court order keeping it from being released.

This film has Oscar written all over it, can't wait to see it.


wow. having seen the film, i'm very surprised that hoffman insists it's not based on scientology. some dialogue is directly lifted off of some prominent hubbard quotes (his introduction to the first edition of dianetics for instance, most explicitly). also, hubbard's wife mary sue, responsible for project snow white, is portrayed beat for beat by amy smart; manipulative, seductive, cautiously introverted. i can see why weinstein is pushing this back from awards now; oddly enough he joked at cannes about how the controversy surrounding it would drown out any golden glam potential.

Mary McConnell

Anderson, Hoffman and the Sellar can say what they want now……. the seed has been planted by ingenious marketing moves, key near exact quotes in the trailers, along with principle actors who look, dresse and posture just like L Ron Hubbard and his wife Mary Sue Hubbard. Can't wait to see this movie!


In the 11th photograph (w/the table in a room corner) there's a time-warp error. The table indeed looks like those from the 1950s, but the two chairs are modern-day.

Del Mar Club

The trailers for "The Master" gave me a definite Synanon vibe, and I was there. Not that the film is telling that story more than any other, but the "feel" is right. I never spent much time around Scientology, so I can't speak to that, but when Hoffman says "…there were a lot of movements at that time," he knows of what he speaks. True that Hoffman looks like Hubbard more than he looks like Synanon founder Chuck Dederich, especially in costume, but I can believe there are multiple real-life scenarios being drawn from here.


All of P.T. Anderson's films are character studies so I can't imagine this is any different.


Considering how much of what's been released has been focused on Phoenix , I'm just gonna take what the cast/crew/people who've seen it say at face value and assume it's probably a film focused on its characters more than any religion or social movement. People can draw connections like they did for There Will Be Blood but PTA just isn't the kind of writer who lets bold statements get in the way of characters or story.


Is that Phoenix or an ape?


No Laura Dern yet though. Still excited.


Who's winning best actor this year? Phoenix or Phoenix?

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