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Paul Thomas Anderson's Scientology Flick Goes Off the Rails

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Ben Affleck gets back behind the camera for this crime drama in which he also stars as a bank robber who falls for the one woman who can send him and his crew to jail. Co-stars Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Blake Lively and Chris Cooper. Opens Sept. 17. (Published Monday, Jul 19, 2010)

    Sad to say, but Paul Thomas Anderson's film "The Master," which was to be based on L. Ron Hubbard and his Church of Scientology, has hit a massive roadblock.

    Phillip Seymour Hoffman was set to star as the Hubbard-esque "Master," with Jeremy Renner as his apprentice in what would've been PTA's first film since "There Will Be Blood."

    "The Town"

    [NATL] "The Town"
    Ben Affleck gets back behind the camera for this crime drama in which he also stars as a bank robber who falls for the one woman who can send him and his crew to jail. Co-stars Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Blake Lively and Chris Cooper. Opens Sept. 17. (Published Monday, Jul 19, 2010)

    "I was really bummed about that," Jeremy Renner told Total Film. "It really kind of stalled because when we were rehearsing — Phil (Phillip Seymour Hoffman), Paul and myself — we kept coming up against a wall that we couldn't overcome. Or at least Paul couldn't overcome."

    We're sorely disappointed by this turn of events, but we can't say we're terribly surprised. Anderson's take on Scientology was almost sure to be critical, and would've made working in Hollywood increasingly difficult for him and all the film's stars.

    Furthermore, the Church of Scientology is famously litigious, quick to take legal action against anyone they feel is slandering their faith or its followers.

    Renner's bad news merely confirmed what Hoffman recently hinted to while doing press for his directorial debut, "Jack Goes Boating."

    "I don't have any new information [about 'The Master']. I really mean that, I'm not being obtuse," Hoffman recently told The Playlist. "I don't quite know what that is at the moment, but hopefully I will and hopefully I'll be part of something soon. It would be great to work with him again."

    We love Hoffman, and Renner's turn in "The Town" convinced us that his work in "The Hurt Locker" wasn't just a bit of dumb luck.

    Oh, well...