Is ‘The Master’ Headed to Fantastic Fest?

Now that we’ve all watched (and rewatched, and re-rewatched, if you’re me) the stunning first trailer for Paul Thomas Anderson‘s The Master, the big question is when we’ll actually get to see the damn thing. A theatrical release date of October 12 has already been set, but it’s bound to hit the festival circuit first.

Most cinephiles have been predicting a Venice Film Festival debut for the film, and it’s still very possible that it could happen. However, American movie lovers may be excited to hear that it looks like Anderson’s also got some interest in returning to Austin’s Fantastic Fest, where he premiered There Will Be Blood five years ago. More details after the jump.

The Anderson fansite CigsandRedVines (via The Film Stage) picked up this photo of Anderson, the film’s composer Jonny Greenwood, and Alamo Drafthouse owner / Fantastic Fest coordinator Tim League chatting outside an Alamo Drafthouse location:

This picture certainly isn’t proof that The Master will screen there in September. But you have to think Anderson, Greenwood, and League are up to something. Toss in the fact that Anderson’s last film hit Fantastic Fest while skipping most other festivals in 2007, and a Fantastic Fest appearance for The Master seems very possible indeed. Additionally, for what it’s worth, one CigsandRedVines commenter claims that the film’s already been booked for Fantastic Fest — they just haven’t made the announcement yet.

Whether it’ll be a world premiere or a domestic one is another question. Even if The Master plays at Fantastic Fest, the festival isn’t until September 20-27. It could very well wind up at Venice (August 29 – September 8) and/or TIFF (September 6-16) first, before making its stateside debut in Austin.

In any case, all three events are expected to reveal their full lineups in the coming weeks, so we’ll find out for certain sooner rather than later. And no matter where it plays first, we’re pretty sure that any film directed by Anderson and starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix, and Amy Adams is going to be worth a look.

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