A controversial film inspired by the founder of the Scientology movement has received its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival.
‘The Master’, loosely based on the life of L. Ron Hubbard is tipped to be an Oscar winner.
The movie stars Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix and focuses on a charismatic, charming and controlling man who leads a faith named ‘The Cause’.
Critics point to parallels with Scientology, a self-described religion that is followed by many of Hollywood’s biggest names and which some describe as a cult.
Anderson told reporters in Venice that there were a lot of similarities between his film and the early days of Dianetics, the original name for the set of ideas and practices followed by Scientologists.
“It is a character that I created based on L. Ron Hubbard. I don’t really know a whole hell of a lot about Scientology, particularly now, but I do know a lot about the beginning of that movement and it inspired me to use it as a backdrop for these characters,” he said.
Anderson played the film to actor and Scientologist Tom Cruise but says the Oscar winner’s review of ‘The Master’ will remain between them.