Paul Thomas Anderson 's highly anticipated new drama 'The Master' was announced as the lead movie at this year's Venice Film Festival, though has mysteriously disappeared from the festival's programme, reports the UK's Guardian newspaper.

Confusion has reigned in cinema-land after Anderson's cult religion-themed movie was announced as the headline act at the festival, though not listed in the official press release. 'The Master' - one of the films already tipped for an Oscar next year' - stars Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix and follows the relationship between a charismatic intellectual whose faith begins to catch on in America, and a young drifter who becomes his right hand man. Though the future of 'The Master's' screening at the Venice Film Festival remains uncertain, it has been confirmed that Terrence Malick's new movie 'To The Wonder' starring Ben Affleck and Rachel McAdams will premiere there, before moving onto Toronto. Other films expected to debut at festivals this year include Nicolas Winding Refn's follow up to 'Drive', 'Only God Forgives' and JOE WRIGHT's 'Anna Karenina'.

'The Master' is generally the 9/1 third favorite to scoop 'Best Picture' at the Academy Awards in 2013. Steven Spielberg's Abraham Lincoln biopic is considered a 5/1 chance, while the drama-fantasy 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' is the current frontrunner at 3/1.