Since the release of his 2007 masterpiece There Will Be Blood, we have waited with bated breath for the latest rumors about Paul Thomas Anderson’s next upcoming project, tentatively titled The Master, the story of “a charismatic intellectual who hatches a faith-based organization that begins to catch on in America in 1952 called The Cause.” First we heard that Philip Seymour Hoffman would be playing the titular lead as “The Master” of the Scientology-like cult, with Jeremy Renner as his protegé, Freddie Sutton. The role of his wife, Mary-Sue, has been reportedly offered to Reese Witherspoon. Now, as Anderson prepares to begin shooting this summer, it has been revealed that he is currently looking at three up-and-coming actresses to play Hoffman and Witherspoon’s daughter, Elizabeth: Amanda Seyfried, Emma Stone and Deborah Ann Woll are all potentially in the running for the part.
This could be a break-out role for whichever actress lands the gig; Anderson is a huge name in Hollywood right now, and his last several films (There Will Be Blood, Punch Drunk Love, Magnolia, Boogie Nights) have all been highly critically acclaimed. Both Seyfried and Stone have upcoming commitments, which could put them out of the running: Seyfried in The Girl with the Red Riding Hood and Stone in The Help. Woll also has various upcoming films she’s purported to be involved in, as well as a continuing commitment to HBO’s True Blood (she plays the newly-turned teenage vampire Jessica).
Still, this is a Paul Thomas Anderson movie, and any one of these actresses should probably be willing to change their schedules to accommodate Anderson’s latest production. The Master could seriously bolster any one of their resumés just as There Will Be Blood legitimized Paul Dano’s career. No matter who he picks, expect Anderson’s next opus of Americana to turn heads sometime next year.
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