"The Master" is still rolling out around the world, which means Paul Thomas Anderson is still doing press, which means there are still morsels from the filmmaker to ponder, turn over and get excited about.
So, let’s start with the filmmaker’s latest, the history of which is well known by now, but we’ll keep the recap brief: in short, Jeremy Renner at one time was being eyed for the lead when the picture was set up at Universal (who got cold feet and ultimately bailed). And while it was widely reported at the time, Anderson downplayed Renner’s involvement.
"Jeremy didn’t really audition. We were talking and there was even a moment three or four weeks into pre-production, but the script wasn’t ready and we had to call it off," he told Graffitti With Punctuation. "By the time we got started again Jeremy was off doing other films – multiple films – and the script had taken a different path. You know, in the life of a film every one of them is different but what ends up happening is usually the right thing."
But that actually slightly contradicts Renner’s own account of his involvement from a couple of years back. "It really kind of stalled because when we were rehearsing — Phil [Seymour Hoffman], Paul and myself — we kept coming up against a wall that we couldn’t overcome. Or at least Paul couldn’t overcome," he said. It sounds like Renner’s participation was more than just talking, but both seem to agree that the project wasn’t quite there in the script phase. And as Anderson stresses, how it ultimately came together is what he was happy with (and not without good reason), but of course, a filmmaker probably wouldn’t say otherwise.
Anyway, now that you’ve probably seen "The Master" once or twice or a few times, you might need to updgrade your PTA home video collection. The director revealed during a post-screening Q&A at the Cockatoo Island Film Festival that "Punch-Drunk Love" was heading to Blu-ray next year. If it ports over the bounty of extras from the current 2-disc DVD, we’d be more than happy.
Lastly, here’s a funny anecdote from Jonny Greenwood in Uncut magazine about scoring the film, regarding Anderson and "Anchorman." "I was just offered a film because they had to ‘let go’ of their current composer and I think that happens a lot – in fact, I probably came close during the scoring for ‘The Master.’ I kept adding jazz flute. Paul kept sending me pictures of Ron Burgundy." Awesome. [via Cigarettes & Red Vines]