Paul Thomas Anderson takes next film to Warner Bros

Paul Thomas Anderson
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Paul Thomas Anderson has a deal set up at Warner Bros, although the studio may have to work hard to keep him. 

Just over a week ago, a story was circulating that Paul Thomas Anderson was part of an elite trio of directors who were using their star power to force Warner Bros Discovery into rethinking its commitment to the TCM cable channel.

Under Warner Bros Discovery CEO David Zaslav, the studio has embarked on a savage round of cost-cutting, potentially selling off its musical assets, scrapping finished films such as Batgirl and pulling movies and TV shows from its Max streaming platform. Next up on the executioner’s block is the much-loved US channel TCM and Zaslav has gutted the channel’s infrastructure, getting rid of a host of key executives.

This move earned him the ire of Anderson, Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese, the Three Musketeers of classic film preservation and Zaslav was forced to take a meeting with them before revealing that they would now curate movies for the channel. Whilst the fearsome reputation of the trio was likely enough to get Zaslav to bow to their demands, it looks like Anderson may have been sporting some extra leverage too: his next film is reportedly being set up at Warner Bros, a prestigious deal for the studio that Zaslav would have been desperate not to lose.

Indiewire is reporting (in a wider-ranging piece on TCM that’s well worth a read) that Anderson’s next film could star Joaquin Phoenix, Viggo Mortensen, and Regina Hall with Warner Bros backing the project. In terms of relationships with artists, things have not gone particularly well for Zaslav since he took the reins at the newly-merged company so if Warner Bros Discovery can hold on to Anderson, that will be coup as it tries to woo back other filmmakers of note (such as Christopher Nolan) to restore its damaged reputation. We’ll bring you more on this one as we hear it.

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