Saturday, February 12, 2011

‘The Master' Hiatus Timeline

Since our site was on a bit of a hiatus as well during our little redesign, and in light of yesterday's good news, we thought it might be nice to do a quick rundown of the status of The Master project over the last 6 months or so.


The Playlist reports that the film has been "postponed indefinitely". The source of this info is an interview with Jeremy Renner in Total Film magazine.
"I was really bummed about that," Renner revealed. "It really kind of stalled because when we were rehearsing — Phil, Paul and myself — we kept coming up against a wall that we couldn't overcome. Or at least Paul couldn't overcome."
They also ask Phillip Seymour Hoffman about the status of it during the press rounds for "Jack Goes Boating". His non-quote:
"I don't have any new information ['The Master']. I really mean that, I'm not being obtuse. I don't quite know what that is at the moment, but hopefully I will and hopefully I'll be part of something soon. It would be great to work with him again."
The Wrap contacts River Road who had been reportedly financing the film and they said they were not involved with the project (though it's not entirely clear if they ever were).


Deadline interviews producer Mike De Luca who offers the following tidbit about The Master's hiatus:

DNY: What does it say when Anderson¹s The Master is having such a hard time
getting off the ground?

De Luca: I think he has the financing. He’s just going through his own creative process, asking himself, ‘Is this what I want to make,’ and is it ready to be made? That’s just what he does.

He also offers a few other PTA-related quotes not about The Master.

DNY: How much tougher would a young Paul Thomas Anderson have getting Boogie Nights made now? He’s struggling with his new film, The Master, about the formation of a religion in the 1950s.

De Luca: Anything that worked at New Line would be ten times harder to get made at a major studio. I’m not sure the Summits or the Lionsgates would go for Boogie Nights or Wag the Dog, or even the first Austin Powers. There’s such a bias against what they call tweeners, the movies that aren’t so cheap that you can’t get hurt, but aren’t big enough to have special effects and big movie stars and directors that make executives feel their bet is somewhat insured. New Line lived in that tweener space. To a certain degree, Social Network is that. It’s not so low budget that you’re protected, but it’s no giant tent pole, either.

DNY: What was hardest about Boogie Nights?

De Luca: That gave Bob the most aggravation, the length issue, the ‘who’s going to see this?’ Until the first reviews, he was really fighting it and unsure. The test screenings were not promising. That process is good for down the middle mainstream movies. Trailers and TV spots prepare you for a movie, and if you saw one for Boogie Nights, you can decide, that’s not for me. You don’t get that from the paragraph they use to recruit an audience. They’re told, comedy with Mark Wahlberg. And when it’s a disturbing film like a Scorsese, a Boogie Nights or There Will Be Blood, pissed off people write disturbed things on their cards precisely because the film did its job. I didn’t think Boogie Nights was appropriate for testing, but we did a lot of them and the numbers were always poor. In Bob’s eyes, the movie wasn’t a winner and a piece of art until the reviews started coming in.

DNY: How much did it lose in length?

De Luca: Paul pruned about 20 minutes, through his own process. At one point, Bob asked Paul, let me do a cut, let me show you what I think you should love. Paul wisely said okay, knowing it wouldn’t go further than Bob getting it out of his system. It was not anything we’d release or Paul would sanction. Bob went through the movie and did a cut, showing Paul, here’s what I would take out. Paul sat there and probably wanted to kill himself, but he was really patient, watched it and went back to his own editorial process.

In an interview with MTV (reported on once again by The Playlist), Jeremy Renner gives one more quote about PTA:
“He’s swimming out there somewhere, probably typing behind a computer. That guy is genius. If he was directing the phone book I’d be in it.”

Vulture reports that Paul is now working on an adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s "Inherent Vice", so it appears that he has put The Master project aside for now.


Vulture once again breaks the news that billionairess Megan Ellison is looking to co-finanace both The Master project and PTA’s adaptation of "Inherent Vice". All is right with the world.

In other news, Mondo Tees recently put a small number of Olly Moss’ There Will Be Blood Rolling Roadshow prints onsale and they were gone in a matter of seconds. You can find a few of them on eBay if you are so inclined to pay collectors prices.

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