While the anticipation isn't as huge as its been for The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises, real cinema fans should absolutely be chomping at the bit over the new films from Quentin Tarantino and Paul Thomas Anderson.
Both filmmakers are coming off very well received projects such as Inglorious Basterds and There Will Be Blood, both of which are very promising follow ups.
Tarantino's next film is Django Unchained, a western about slavery before the civil war that's due on Christmas day, and Anderson's next is The Master, which is about a figure who very closely resembles L. Ron Hubbard, played by Phillip Seymour Hoffman, founding a religion.
The Master is due for release in October, and having read the script the religion is called The Cause. It's pretty obvious it's based on Scientology, although recent reports about the film have been downplaying this considerably.
Where Tarantino loves to talk endlessly about himself, Anderson has gone the Stanley Kubrick route, shunning interviews, and The New York Times even did a story trying to figure out what The Master's really about, although again, unless the script's been changed, it's very clearly the story of Scientology. Nevertheless, the current spin is downplaying this, as Mike Fleming wrote on Deadline, "From what I've heard it is as applicable to Mormonism or any modern-day belief system that launches and draws a following."
While The Weinstein Company showed seven minutes of Django footage, only 90 seconds of footage of The Master has been unleashed so far, and watching it, you can't tell what the movie's about at all. Again, like Kubrick, Anderson likes secrecy with his movies, which can actually be refreshing in a day and age where we know everything about a movie months before it comes out.
As for the Django footage, looks like it got positive notice all around, with Collider summarizing responses to the footage around the 'Net. "The big surprise?," wrote Vulture. "How funny this potentially controversial Western has turned out to be. In particular, Leonardo DiCaprio seems to be having the time of his life dropping N-bombs and smiling rotted teeth as plantation owner Calvin Candie." Not to mention, "You'll get Don Johnson dressed as Colonel Sanders!"
Other reactions include Twitch noting that the film has "Plenty of blood, plenty of laughs. Looks like it will be the Cristophe [sic] Waltz show." Ain't-It-Cool-News wrote, "All the location work makes the film look huge, Foxx is at the top of his game, Waltz is lovable, funny and dangerous all at once and it just feels like everybody is having a blast." So far the soundtrack includes music from Johnny Cash and James Brown, and according to one report, Tarantino shot a scene to the Jim Croce classic, "I've Got a Name."
As this story was being finalized, reports have come in that the advance trailer for Django will be playing before Prometheus when it opens on June 8. It will certainly be interesting to see what the world-wide reaction is once the trailer hits theaters and YouTube for all to see.