NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 29: Film producer and Industry Executive Harvey Weinstein attends the "A Steady Rain" Broadway opening night at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre on September 29, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)
First Megan Ellison came down like an angel from heaven with a truckload of cash to fund Paul Thomas Anderson's next film, and now it's got a worldwide distributor.
Harvey Weinstein has ponied up the cash for the global distribution rights to Anderson's next film, loosely based on the life of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, reported Deadline.
The film, at one point called "The Master," will star Phillip Seymour Hoffman as a man who returns from WW II in search of a new beginning. He then invents a belief system that he parlays into a multi-million dollar empire. Joaquin Phoenix will co-star as Eddie Sutton, an alcoholic drifter who becomes Hoffman's right-hand man.
Anderson is also looking at Madisen Beaty ("The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"), Amy Adams, Lena Endre ("The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo") and Laura Dern for other roles.
Anderson at one time last year had Universal ready to back the film but they backed out at the last minute, the upside being that it gave PTA plenty of time to hone the script. The film is due to being shooting in June.