Paul Thomas Anderson’s highly anticipated movie “The Master” is going to play the festival circuit: The Weinstein Co. film starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams will be included in the lineup for the Venice Film Festival, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. Reports suggest that the film will likely appear as part of the Toronto International Film Festival too.
The movie, which will open theatrically Sept. 14, centers on a cult leader and his relationship with a loner in the early days following World War II.
While Anderson (“There Will Be Blood”) has never said that he based “The Master” on the controversial religion of Scientology, many believe the auteur used the faith popularized by Tom Cruise and John Travolta as inspiration for his screenplay.
In booking the film at the high-profile festivals, the Weinstein Co. faces some technical challenges, namely ensuring that the movie can be screened on a 70mm projector, since Anderson filmed the movie using 70mm.
[For the Record, 5:32 p.m. July 30: A previous version of this post and its headline stated that the Weinstein Co. had confirmed that “The Master” is playing both Venice and Toronto. Neither the distributor nor a Toronto festival spokesperson confirmed that the film will play there.]