Joaquin Phoenix "retired" from acting as part of the gimmick behind his documentary I'm Still Here. Now he is looking to return to acting, entering early discussions to join an untitled religious drama from director Paul Thomas Anderson. Philip Seymour Hoffman has already joined the cast.
The story revolves around a religion that closely resembles Scientology. Philip Seymour Hoffman will play Lancaster Dodd, the leader of this new religious group who is simply called "The Master". He reaches out to Freddie Sutton (Joaquin Phoenix), an alcoholic nomad who steadily rises to become The Master's second in command. However, Freddie starts to question the motives of his new leader.
Paul Thomas Anderson will direct from his own original screenplay. Megan Ellison and Bill Pohlad will produce alongside Paul Thomas Anderson and his producing partner, JoAnne Sellar. No production schedule was revealed for this untitled project.
Joaquin Phoenix hasn't landed a feature role since his "retirement," although he has been in contention for roles in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, J. Edgar, and Akira. No deals have been made for any of those projects, so it seems this untitled Paul Thomas Anderson project may very well be Joaquin Phoenix's next movie.