Paul Thomas Anderson Finds Funding For Next Two Movies

Friday, 11 February 2011 10:47 Written by  Jordan DeSaulnier
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Paul Thomas Anderson Finds Funding For Next Two Movies

Paul Thomas Anderson's filmography as writer and director contains not a blemish.  With Boogie Nights and There Will Be Blood, he's got two bona-fide masterpieces under his belt, and he managed to extract a hell of a performance from Adam Sandler in Punch Drunk Love.  Even his most flawed work, Magnolia, is a staggeringly ambitious ensemble with many a rapturous moment.  So it's been foot-tappingly frustrating to see him struggle to find money to make his Scientology-themed film The Master.  Well, a young heiress has come to the rescue: according to NY Mag's Vulture blog, Megan Ellison will pony up the dough for Anderson's pseudo-Scientology tale and his adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's novel Inherent Vice.

In much the same way that Bruce Wayne used his fortune to fund a noble, never-ending fight against criminality as Batman, 25 year-old Ellison, who up until recently had a reputation as a carefee party girl, has discovered that it's far more rewarding to bankroll auteur cinema.  She's the daughter of bajillionaire Oracle boss Larry Ellison, and she and her brother David co-financed True Grit, from Joel and Ethan Coen, a gamble that paid off handsomely in the form of ten Oscar nominations and $150 million and counting.  She's also investing in The Wettest Country in the World, a John Hillcoat adaptation of a novel by Matt Bondurant starring Tom Hardy and Shia Labeouf.

Anderson has long had Phillip Seymour Hoffman attached to play an L. Ron Hubbard-like figure who founds a religion known as The Cause in the tentatively-titled The Master.  The director had intended to make the film his follow-up to There Will Be Blood, but Universal Pictures was unwilling to finance its projected $35 million budget.  As a result of the delay, the film lost Jeremy Renner, who was eager to star as Hoffman's disciple, but whose schedule has completely filled up following his Oscar-nominated work in The Hurt Locker and The Town.  Universal might just be kicking themselves, as the timing would have nicely coincided with Lawrence Wright's high profile, Paul Haggis-based Scientology expose.

Apparently, Anderson's on his second draft of a screenplay for Inherent Vice, and has been in frequent consultation with Gravity's Rainbow author Pynchon on the adaptation.  Robert Downey Jr. has shown interest in playing the lead, pot-addled private detective Larry "Doc" Sportello, who is hired by an ex-girlfriend to investigate a disappearance in Los Angeles in 1969.  Downey Jr. has recently vacated his roles in Oz, The Great and Powerful and Gravity, which would leave time to star for Anderson, especially if Anderson opts to go ahead with Vice before The Master.

Megan Ellison is quickly becoming a checkbook superhero for unique, not-always-commercially-viable directors, and I for one think we should create an Ellison variation on the Bat-signal, to be projected into the sky over Hollywood whenever potentially amazing projects find themselves in need of funding.

If you're not excited for more PTA, then I think we're probably going to have to knife-fight to the death.  So, are you excited for more PTA?  Which film you prefer he make first, The Master or Inherent Vice?

Source: Vulture

Via: Badass Digest

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