Watch: New Trailer for ‘The Master’ as the Scientology Aspect Continues to be Disputed

Madisen Beaty and Joaquin Phoenix in The Master
Madisen Beaty and Joaquin Phoenix in The Master
Photo: The Weinstein Co.

Paul Thomas Anderson‘s The Master is screening tomorrow (8/16) night at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago to Benefit The Film Foundation (buy tickets here) and it’s such a hot ticket, folks are flying to the windy city just to get a peek. Tonight, however, a new trailer for the film presented as “She Wrote a Letter” has arrived, giving us our third look at the film, which will first play the Venice Film Festival followed by a screening in 70mm at the Toronto Film Festival before it begins hitting theaters on September 14.

Starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams, the film centers on a man (Hoffman) who returns after witnessing the horrors of WWII and tries to rediscover who he is in post-war America. He creates a belief system, something that catches on with other lost souls. Adams plays Hoffman’s wife while Phoenix plays one of said “lost souls.”

Along with the anticipation to see a new Anderson feature, there has also been a lot of talk about the film’s subject matter and what many perceive to be a tie and/or condemnation of Scientology.

Speaking on the subject with Entertainment Weekly (via Cigs and Red Vines) Hoffman said, “It’s not the L. Ron Hubbard story. [Scientology] was one of the bigger movements at the time, but there were a lot of movements at that time. There’s nothing about how I’m behaving or talking that echoes [Hubbard]. I thought of a lot of other bigger-than-life personalities, charismatic people like Orson Welles. Joaquin’s character is like a beaten dog, no matter where he goes, [he] gets into severe trouble. And somehow I’m able to deal with him.”

Well, after a few folks see it tomorrow night I’m sure the discussion will continue, and perhaps we’ll finally get the answer as to who is the lead in this thing, Phoenix or Hoffman. It seems to revolve around Phoenix, but Hoffman’s character seems to be the heart of the piece. We’ll see… for now, here’s that trailer.

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