Paul Thomas Anderson is one of the best filmmakers working today, but he makes movies that can sometimes struggle to get financed. Add to that the fact that his next movie, The Master, is reportedly a riff on the founding of Scientology (whose cult members are notoriously litigious), and I wondered if he’d ever get the film off the ground.

Turns out that he is, and he’s getting it off the ground NEXT MONTH. That’s right, The Master starts shooting some time in August. Which means the film could be released in 2011, or at least start hitting the festival circuit. Could PTA be ambitious enough to try and get this done for Sundance?  If not, this must be a lock for Cannes.

Philip Seymour Hoffman stars as the titular Master, a version of L Ron Hubbard. Jeremy Renner was at one point pegged for the role of Freddie, the Master’s second in command who falls out of favor. If the big Avengers announcement/cast appearance at Comic Con happens, maybe someone can get info from Renner there about it.

I’m excited. Why is it that Paul Thomas Anderson struggles to get a 35 million dollar movie off the ground but so many hack directors are handed hundreds of millions? I love the movies, but some days Hollywood bums me out.

via Cigarettes and Red Vines, link thanks to Tom