More good news from camp-PTA about his formerly stalled drama The Master– it might end up including Joaquin Phoenix’s re-debut performance following his I’m Still Here stunts. While the project has been re-energized thanks to a billionaire with good taste, former cast-member Jeremy Renner is now far too busy to hop back on board alongside lead Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Phoenix would take over the role of Freddie Sutton, a wayward young man who hooks up with Lancaster Dodd, a charismatic soon-to-be cult leader.

I was really looking forward to seeing Renner, who is unmatched for intensity among young actors right now, play off of the disturbing calm that I imagine Hoffman will bring to his role. Renner is a great presence and it’s no wonder that Hollywood snapped him up in to as many blockbuster projects as possible- but it’s a shame that he’ll miss out on working with PTA for the moment. Hopefully with a new producer in tow though, Anderson’s projects will come together much faster in the future and they’ll be plenty more opportunities for the team-up to happen.

In any event, Joaquin is an excellent actor and could help form a very different but equally worthwhile dynamic around which PTA can craft his film. Some may question Joaquin’s judgement in terms of stunts and his ability to be a rapping actor (raptor?), but there’s no doubt he’s a dedicated and convincing performer- I’m Still Here actually does as much to prove that as anything else he’s done.

It’s important to note that no deal is signed- Joaquin’s still in talks. This isn’t the first project he’s been associated with as a “returning role,” so anything could happen.

I’m still not sure if the Pynchon novel adaptation with Robert Downey Jr. is happening first, or if the order of the projects is still a decision yet to be made, but a trigger needs to be pulled one way or another. I can’t abide PTA’s new producer getting hit by a bus or some shit before this all comes together. I don’t think I could take that kind of disappointment a second time.

Source | Variety (via /Film)

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