An amazing and wonderful bit of Scientology news in The Hollywood Reporter this morning:
THR has learned that Oscar winner Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side) is putting the finishing touches on a film that tackles the Church of Scientology and its Tinseltown tentacles. HBO, no stranger to controversy, having ushered such hot-button docs as The Case Against 8 and the Paradise Lost trilogy to the screen, is eyeing a 2015 airdate for Going Clear, which is based on Lawrence Wright’s controversial book that was also exclusively excerpted in THR.
The film, which is expected to feature new revelations about the controversial religion and its famous followers Tom Cruise and John Travolta, almost certainly will draw an aggressive response from the notoriously litigious church.
Wright’s article on Scientology in The New Yorker is the first real knowledge I had of the allegations against the religion and its leader. That article was so scandalous to me that I’ve been a bit obsessed with Scientology ever since. Going Clear is an amazing book, and it’s hard to believe that such dangerous cults on the scale of Scientology are still a thing in modern America.
I also noticed this bit:
“We have probably 160 lawyers [looking at the film],” says HBO Documentary Films president Sheila Nevins, who is bracing for protests as well.
Nonetheless, HBO and Gibney (UTA, Cowan DeBaets) aren’t inclined to back down, having taken on other powerful organizations in the past including the Catholic Church (Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God) and the U.S. military (Taxi to the Dark Side).
I would love to have HBO disclose a comparison of the litigiousness of Scientology versus the Catholic Church or the U.S. military. I suspect it’s way out of proportion to the size and power of Scientology, which is itself a significant sign they have something to hide. The Catholic Church, and, especially in the U.S., the military are two extremely powerful organizations.