Rich, bisexual heiress financing Paul Thomas Anderson film

Okay, I admit it, that headline was needlessly provocative.  It’s just that, when you have the chance to write “rich, bisexual heiress” in a headline, you take it, unless you’re allergic to cash money. And as you can see by this bedazzled sweater with a dollar sign hot glued on it in rhinestones, I AIN’T, SON.

The heiress in question is Megan Ellison, 25-year-old daughter of Oracle boss Larry.  (A Gawker piece on her in 2007 said her Myspace status was listed as “bi”, which is more than enough to fill my mind’s eye with gratuitous scissoring). Now she’s into movie producing, and according to Vulture, she wants to step in and finance There Will Be Blood director Paul Thomas Anderson’s planned Scientology allegory, The Master.

We’re told that Ellison is also in negotiations to co-finance Anderson’s untitled religious drama, based on an original script about a disaffected disciple’s relationship with the founder of a new spiritual movement called the Cause — a not-so-thinly-veiled stand-in for Scientology — that examines the human need to believe in a Creator.

Anderson had been forced to shelve Master last September after Universal Pictures balked at its $35 million price tag; as a consequence of the delay, the film lost Jeremy Renner, who’d been attached to play the part of Freddie Sutton, an alcoholic acolyte of the Cause‘s founder who was to be played by Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Insiders say Renner, who’s buried in offers since his Oscar-nominated turn in Ben Affleck’s The Town, is no longer attached, but we’re told Hoffman is still keenly interested in doing the picture.

That’s right, Universal, a company that’s spending $200 million on a movie about battleships that fight aliens, based on a board game and starring Rihanna, wouldn’t spend $35 million on a movie from a five-time Oscar-nominated director, an Oscar-winning actor, and another two-time Oscar-nominated actor.  Maybe I’m weird, but to me that seems way more embarrassing than being a party lesbian on Myspace.