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Oracle Fortune Getting Behind Paul Thomas Anderson's Scientology Pic

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Oracle Fortune Getting Behind Paul Thomas Anderson's Scientology Pic

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SAN SEBASTIAN, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 27: Director Paul Thomas Anderson poses for the photographers at the Kursaal Palace during the 56th San Sebastian Film Festival on September 27, 2008 in San Sebastian, Spain. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)

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A fundie working for the good of art? It must be a dream.

Megan Ellison, 25-year-old heiress to the Oracle billions made by her father Larry, is said to be backing up the money truck to Paul Thomas Anderson's home. Ellison wants to fund both his film inspired by Scientology, as well as his adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's "Inherent Vice," according to Vulture.

And lest you dismiss Megan as a dilettante rich kid, she was one of the producers on "True Grit," and is backing John Hillicoat's "Wettest Country in the World."

PTA came thisclose last fall to getting his Scientology film, known as "The Master," off the ground, but our corporate cousins balked last fall at the $35 million price tag. The film was to star Phillip Seymour Hoffman as a L. Ron Hubbard-esque church leader who takes in an alcoholic follower, to be played by Jeremy Renner.

Renner has since stepped away, as he's too busy fielding offers following his Oscar-nominated turn in "The Town," but Hoffman is said to still be game.

The timing on this is odd, as it comes just a few days after the New Yorker published a 25,000-word must-read by Lawrence Wright about Paul Haggis' 35-years in the Church of Scientology and his ultimate disavowal of the faith as a cult. You have to wonder if Megan was inspired to help Anderson in part by reading the piece.

Word of Anderson's "Inherent Vice" adaptation first surfaced in early December, and it now appears that Ellison wants to help make it, as well. It said that Robert Downey Jr. is interested in the lead role of Doc Sportello, a pot-smoking private eye with an abiding love of rock n roll and southern California.

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