Actor Joaquin Phoenix has joined the cast of the Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson Project, which was formerly known as The Master. The Weinstein Company recently won a bidding war for the worldwide distribution rights to the project. We first reported that Joaquin Phoenix may join the project last month, and now his deal has been finalized.
Philip Seymour Hoffman is also locked in to star as a religious figure known only as The Master, who creates a belief system after returning from the horrors of World War II. The "religion" begins to spread in popularity all over America during the 1950s. Joaquin Phoenix is playing Freddie, a young vagabond who becomes chosen as The Master's right-hand man, although he starts to question The Master's motives. The story is said to be loosely based on the foundation of Scientology by L. Ron Hubbard.
Production is scheduled to begin on June 13, with Paul Thomas Anderson working from a $35 million budget.