Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master" went through a number of pre-production changes, from its cast (Jeremy Renner was originally tapped to play Freddie Quell; the role eventually went to Joaquin Phoenix) to its character names (Amy Adams' character Peggy was called Mary Sue in the initial script). Now, fans of the hypnotic character study can see what Anderson changed after filming was complete. As part of the new Blu-ray release of "The Master," Anderson cut together 20 minutes of extra footage from his film, an illuminating look at the editing process of one of 2012's most confounding masterpieces.
Much of the footage in the 20-minute package -- which you can watch above; the clip is NSFW because of some foul language and brief female nudity -- was spotted in early trailers for the film. Taken as a whole, the scenes give "The Master" more plot: Freddie abandons his obligations to the Navy, meets Philip Seymour Hoffman's Lancaster Dodd, learns about Dodd's religion and works to identify and overcome a past trauma, which he finds difficult because of an obsession with sex. The scenes also set Dodd up as more of a mystical figure, with his writings rumored to cause madness and even suicide. Resident Anderson expert Cory Everett, who runs the Anderson site Cigarettes and Red Vines and contributes to Indiewire's The Playlist, has a detailed breakdown of some of "The Master's" deleted scenes and moments.
In the meantime, fans can watch the deleted scenes above. Especially of interest: Hoffman cracking up at the very end of the clip while trying to express his love for KOOL cigarettes. As one person wrote on Twitter, Hoffman's line-reading seems to owe more than a little to Will Ferrell's Ron Burgundy.
[via The Playlist]