Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘The Master’ to be released October 12

The Oscars are usually the last stop for awards season, but with the announcement of the release date for one of the most anticipated films of the year, we now have a date for when awards season will officially begin this year.

Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master has been scheduled for a release date of October 12, 2012. This marks his sixth feature film and his first in five years.

The film was once “postponed indefinitely” and was soon rescued by financier Megan Ellison. In early March, she dropped hints of a release date of October via Twitter.

The Master stars Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix and is set in the 1950s, where a maverick starts his own religion after coming home from the horrors of World War II.

The director faced difficulties in financing this film, despite having scored eight Oscar nominations with his previous film, There Will Be Blood. The Master has been faced with controversy over its similarities with L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology.

The October 12 release date positions the film for all fall film festivals, including Toronto, Telluride and New York, where the director’s films have previously premiered.

The Weinstein Company – who knows a thing or two about campaigning for awards season – could decide to skip the film festivals and go straight into theatres.