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Joaquin Phoenix in talks for PT Anderson's religious drama

It looks like Joaquin Phoenix could join Paul Thomas Anderson's untitled religious drama, previously known as The Master .

It'll be the actor's first role since performance project I'm Still Here , which polarised audiences but undoubtedly proved his mind-blowing commitment to the craft.

Variety are reporting that the actor has entered early talks for the untitled project, which Anderson will direct from his own script.

The film was previously known as The Master , and was rescued by producer Megan Ellison after being dumped by Universal.

Philip Seymour Hoffman is still attached to play lead Lancaster Dodd, AKA The Master, the head of a mysterious religious sect (said to parallel Scientology), and Phoenix would play a drifter who becomes Dodd's top disciple.

Jeremy Renner was previously attached to the role, though Phoenix, with his exceptional beard-growing capabilities, does sound like a better fit.

One thing that remains unclear though, is whether this movie will go into production before Inherent Vice , Anderson's adaptation of the Thomas Pynchon novel which has Robert Downey Jr set to star.

We don't really mind either way, as any film by Anderson automatically earns a spot on our 'essential viewing' list...