Paul Thomas Anderson’s New Film Sets Release Plan: Thanksgiving Limited, Christmas Wide

Bradley Cooper and Benny Safdie star in Anderson's directorial follow-up to "Phantom Thread."
PHANTOM THREAD, director Paul Thomas Anderson, on set, 2017. ph: Laurie Sparham /© Focus Features /Courtesy Everett Collection
Paul Thomas Anderson, on set of "Phantom Thread"
©Focus Features/courtesy Everett Collect / Everett Collection

Paul Thomas Anderson is officially entering the 2021-2022 Oscar season as United Artists Releasing (UAR) confirms to IndieWire the filmmaker’s untitled new movie will have a platform release over the upcoming holiday movie season. Anderson’s film, his directorial follow-up to “Phantom Thread,” will open in limited release November 26 (the day after Thanksgiving) and reach its nationwide expansion December 25 (the day of Christmas Eve).

While the film’s reported working title is “Soggy Bottom,” UAR confirms the movie is still without an official theatrical release title. Anderson wrote the script and produced the film along with Sara Murphy. MGM backed the film in association with BRON Creative and Ghoulardi Film Company. This info about Anderson’s new movie are the only details UAR is willing to confirm about the project at this time.

Anderson shot the majority of his new movie in Los Angeles last fall. Early reports on the project describe it as a 1970s-set ensemble drama set in the San Fernando Valley, the same time period and setting of Anderson’s breakthrough directorial effort “Boogie Nights.” The film is without an official plot synopsis, although it is rumored to tell the story of a high school student child actor who befriends a famous Hollywood director and producer.

For his latest, Anderson has rounded up an ensemble cast that includes Bradley Cooper, Benny Safdie, Alana Haim, and Cooper Hoffman, son of the late actor and frequent Anderson collaborator Philip Seymour Hoffman. Cooper is playing the film director, while Hoffman stars in the lead role of the child actor. Safdie is reportedly playing a politician running for office.

With its holiday season platform release, Anderson’s ninth feature joins UAR’s robust fall movie slate. The distribution arm of MGM also has the long-delayed James Bond tentpole “No Time to Die” on the release calendar for October 2, plus Ridley Scott’s “House of Gucci,” starring Adam Driver and Lady Gaga, set for the fall.

Whatever title Anderson’s new film gets released under, it will mark the filmmaker’s ninth feature following “Hard Eight,” “Boogie Nights,” “Magnolia,” “Punch-Drunk Love,” “There Will Be Blood,” “The Master,” “Inherent Vice,” and “Phantom Thread.” The latter title was distributed by Focus Features and started its platform release during the Christmas holiday. “Phantom Thread” was nominated for six Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director, and won the Academy Award for Best Costume Design.

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