Paul Thomas Anderson was going to make a movie starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Jeremy Renner about a charismatic man taking a drunken burn-out under his wing as he developed a new spiritual cult. It was said he’d begin shooting the movie last month, and he has not. Now it seems The Master, as the film would be titled, is “postponed indefinitely at this point.”

Now that quote apparently comes from the print edition of Total Film, who spoke with Jeremy Renner about the state of the project.

“It really kind of stalled because when we were rehearsing –Phil, Paul, and myself-— we kept coming up against a wall that we couldn’t overcome. Or at least Paul couldn’t overcome.”

All of this is being cited by The Playlist along with their own interview with Philip Seymour Hoffman, which netted this quote…

“I don’t have any new information it. I really mean that, I’m not being obtuse. I don’t quite know what that is at the moment, but hopefully I will and hopefully I’ll be part of something soon. It would be great to work with him again.”

Between the two, I think we need to prepare ourselves for the possibility that one of the most interesting and exciting films that was gearing towards production has now died on the vine. That said, there’s too much vagueness and second-hand reporting going on to really reconcile these quotes with each other beyond the fact that The Master is delayed at the very least. The Wrap reports that River Road will not be financing be the film, but the idea that they were was never 100% confirmed. So, essentially, a number of vaguely positive, forward developments have turned into a number of vaguely negative, backward developments on a film thats start was always questionably feasible.   Ultimately, it doesn’t look good. I hope something from the filmmaker himself emerges soon- there’s no reason that five years need to pass before the man has another film in theaters.

Lament, rue, and regret this bull’s shit on the CHUD Message Board.