A while back we heard that Tom Cruise (who has remained friends with PTA since "Magnolia") had been shown "The Master" and that he "had issues" with it. Yesterday, in light of his recent divorce, the NY Daily News did some digging (or speculating) by intimating that the Church of Scientology was unhappy with certain aspects of the film.
A source familiar with Paul Thomas Anderson ’s film about the founder of a Scientology-like religious movement tells us officials of the controversial church group “hit the roof” when they learned — presumably through Cruise — that the movie contains a scene which suggests the belief system was little more than a product of the leader’s fertile imagination.
According to our insider, one scene that didn’t sit well with Cruise takes place on a patio where Joaquin Phoenix, who plays Freddie Sutton, a troubled drifter who becomes Dodd’s right-hand disciple, watches Dodd pontificate about the religion he has created.
During the scene, the source says, another character close to the founder turns to Phoenix and says of Dodd, “You know he’s making it up as he goes along.”
Referring to the actual Church of Scientology, our source says, “Tom Cruise’s people are grumbling about this line — amongst others — but Anderson is not taking it out.”
Cruise’s spokeswoman declined to comment on this story. Scientology spokeswoman Karin Pouw responded: “No one in the church has seen the film, and we have no comment. ”Given the media circus surrounding the TomKat divorce right now it's hard to tell the fact from fiction but it certainly wouldn't surprise us.
Update: A commenter points out that the article also refers to Phoenix's character as Sutton (not Quell as he was updated to later on) which could mean that the entire thing is bunk or just that their fact checking wasn't so up to date.
The one thing I couldn't help but thinking when I was in LA last week was that the timing is perfect for shining a spotlight on the film now just 3 months away. Apparently Kristopher Tapley was thinking the exact same thing and wrote a piece about it over at Hitfix.
"If indeed the TomKat thing plays out in such dramatic hues with Scientology front and center, it could be an interesting turn of events, establishing "The Master" as the zeitgeist play of the season."If you follow us on Twitter you know that we crossed the threshold into double-digits over the holiday with now only 94 days until the film's US release. And for those of you who have been asking, IMDB lists "The Master" as having a November 9th release date (or 9th November, whichever you prefer) which is not too much longer to wait.
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