Rex, from Fimoculous and MNSpeak, forwarded us this bit of gossip from the latter blog: apparently, director Paul Thomas Anderson is not only hanging about the set of Robert Altman's Prairie Home Companion, but sources say he's essentially directing the picture whilst the 80-year-old Altman barks orders from his wheelchair and drifts in and out of an old man stupor. Okay, well, actually, MNSpeak says, "the producers of the film probably insisted that Altman commit to a "backup" director because of his age ... and some say [Anderson is] basically running daily production of the film. [...] Between cuts, Robert belts directions over a mic while PT runs up to stage and speaks with the actors directly."


Now, as we know from the Robert Rodriguez/Frank Miller/Sin City/"Screw you, DGA" debacle, current union rules won't allow two directors to be credited on the same film. That's why, according to Rex and his sources, an announcement will be made later this week as to Anderson having been added as an "executive producer" on the picture.

We can't yet vouch for the accuracy of these rumors from the Midwest, but they make for some pretty delicious midday morsels. Even if there's something sad about Altman being a little too, uh, advanced to go it alone, Rex is dead on when he says that Altman and Anderson are "natural aesthetic fits" for one another, and the idea of them genuinely collaborating with one another is pretty exciting. Of course, the other theory is that Anderson's only hanging around because Maya Rudolph, his pregnant girlfriend of three years, is in the film. But we'll choose to believe the slightly jucier version until we're proven wrong about it ...