It's always been known that Paul Thomas Anderson's (Boogie Nights, There Will Be Blood) The Master was in some way inspired by the life of L. Ron Hubbard, the man who not only gave the world the cinematic gift that is Battlefield Earth, but who founded the Church of Scientology. The first two teaser trailers for the film, however, played coy with how strong that connection is. They've simply been relatively plot-free (but beautifully shot) glimpses at the troubled life of an alcoholic played by Joaquin Phoenix.
This full trailer, however, gives us our first substantial look at the eponymous figure inspired by Hubbard, played in the film by Philip Seymour Hoffman, who seems to be having a spot of trouble trying to recruit and keep Phoenix into his organization.
Check it out, thanks to Yahoo Movies:
As you can see, Hoffman plays a writer who founds a cult faced with constant skepticism that is at least in part obsessed with asking its recruits all manner of question before they can join, which all sounds more than a little familiar. As for how much further the connection goes, we'll just have to wait and see, but we do at least already know that Scientologist extraordinare Tom Cruise, who starred in Anderson's Magnolia, wasn't entirely pleased with the film when Anderson screened it for him as a curteousy a few months ago.
But what say you about the trailer? Does The Master look like the Oscar bait everyone's been saying it is?