Anderson and Cruise have been friends since the latter appeared as sex guru Frank T.J. Mackey in Magnolia, and many have speculated about how The Master, which stars Phillip Seymour Hoffman as an apparently Hubbard-esque religious leader, would affect their friendship.
According to TheWrap, two "individuals close to the movie" have reported that Cruise "had issues" with some parts of the film and that distributors the Weinstein Company are also considering showing it to John Travolta.
The decision to preview the movie for Hollywood's most prominent Scientologists is both a shrewd political move from the Weinsteins and an indication that Anderson may be aiming to produce an even-handed exploration of religion and not just a simple attack.
This was certainly supported by the trailer, which debuted last week and saw Joaquin Phoenix strike a delicate balance between intensity and vulnerability as a drifter who falls under Hoffman's spell.
Emily Watson, who featured in Anderson's 2002 rom-com Punch-Drunk Love, has also seen sections of the film, while Robert Downey Snr, who Anderson has filmed a series of short interviews with for Criterion, has previewed around 90 minutes. Both responded positively.
The Master is due for release in October and stars Amy Adams alongside Hoffman and Phoenix. Radiohead's Johnny Greenwood has returned for scoring duty following his work on There Will Be Blood.
Source: The Wrap