Weinstein Co. Moves 'The Master' Release Date, Denies Its Due to Scientology Issue

Philip Seymour Hoffman

Explaining the real reason of the sudden decision, TWC President of Distribution claims, 'We feel that the film is great. It plays great, and we wanted to get out in front of everyone else.'
After Warner Bros. Pictures decided to change the release date for "Gangster Squad", The Weinstein Company has taken a similar action by shifting the release schedule for Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master". The much-talked-about drama is now set to hit the U.S. theaters on September 14 after previously slated for an October 12 release.

It was previously rumored that the decision was made since the film is affiliated to Scieontology, which has recently been put into attention following Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' divorce. However, TWC quickly denied the report by simply claiming that the Philip Seymour Hoffman-starring film will perform great in September.

"We feel that the film is great," Weinstein Co. President of Distribution Erik Lomis stated, as quoted by Los Angeles Times. "It plays great, and we wanted to get out in front of everyone else." The new schedule will put "The Master" ahead of other potential Oscar-contending films, including Ben Affleck's "Argo", which will be released on the day when "Master" was originally set to open.

"The Master" is set in America in the years following World War II. A charismatic intellectual (Hoffman) launches a faith-based organization and taps a young drifter (Joaquin Phoenix) as his right-hand man. However, as the faith begins to gain a fervent following, the onetime vagabond finds himself questioning the belief system he has embraced, and his mentor.

In a recent interview with Huffington Post, Weinstein Co. boss, Harvey Weinstein, insisted that the focus of the controversial film was not about Scientology. "Paul says to me the movie is about a journey for soldiers after World War II - my own dad was one of those guys - and, you know, one of the things that happens to this soldiers is he goes to a cult," he explained.

"Look, I mean, whatever, people are going to draw their own conclusions, and right now there are heated conclusions, and the Tom [Cruise] and Katie [Holmes] situation has exacerbated that. It's going to be a controversial movie. But it's a tour de force. I hope what doesn't get lost is how wonderful the filmmaking is."

In addition to "The Master", Weinstein Co. moved the release schedule of Brad Pitt's "Killing Them Softly". The action-thriller has been pushed back to October 19 after previously scheduled to hit cinemas on September 21.

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