Paul Thomas Anderson & Philip Seymour Hoffman Collaborate On New Religon-Focused Movie

Philip Seymour HoffmanPaul Thomas Anderson is an excellent filmmaker. Philip Seymour Hoffman is an excellent actor. Put the two together and, barring disaster, you should have an excellent movie.

That's certainly the hope when the two creative forces combine their talents for Anderson's latest directorial gig, speculated to be called "The Master." Variety reports that Hoffman will star in the period drama for Anderson, reuniting them for the first time since "Punch-Drunk Love."

In the film, Hoffman plays a charismatic leader — nicknamed "The Master" — who launches a controversial and increasingly popular "faith-based organization" in America, circa 1952.

The Master forges a bond with Freddie, a young drifter that becomes a lieutenant in the Master's organization. After becoming ingrained in the belief system, however, Freddie begins to have second thoughts about the organization and the Master that's taken him under his wing.

There's an easy knee-jerk reaction to be had regarding the premise of Anderson's film — namely, that it's an assault on relatively new organized religions like Scientology. But Variety is quick to brush aside those assumptions, saying that Anderson's film "isn't specifically directed toward faith-based movements like Scientology or Mormonism," though that very statement makes me think that we'll be seeing plenty of parallels.

No matter what the film ultimately settles on, the reunion of Anderson and Hoffman is a good sign. They've collaborated with one another on plenty of projects — my favorites being "Boogie Nights" and "Magnolia" — but this is the first time that Hoffman has had such a prominent role in an Anderson film, which is definitely exciting for fans of both the actor and the director.

Are you excited for Anderson and Hoffman's upcoming collaboration? Let us know your take in the comments or on Twitter!