HBO is preparing to go to war with the Church of Scientology over a documentary set for release next year.
The network has hired 160 lawyers to look at the as-yet-unnamed film, which will be based on Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Lawrence Wright’s explosive book Going Clear and directed by Alex Gibney, who won an Oscar in 2007 for Taxi To The Dark Side.
Released in 2013, Going Clear arose from Wright’s famous 2011 New Yorker interview with filmmaker Paul Haggis, a Scientology defector who left the church in 2009.
The book looks at the life of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and his flock’s panoply of Hollywood devotees, including John Travolta and Tom Cruise.
The number of lawyers brought in to look at the film – larger than the average army platoon – reflects the church’s tendency to get a little prickly about criticism. Gone Clear itself never even made it into print in the UK after Transworld, its publisher, dropped it over fear of a lawsuit.
In related news, HBO have also confirmed they’ll be released a documentary about late Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain, with his daughter Frances Bean serving as a executive producer. Montage of Heck promises unheard music and new footage of the star.
So that’s the world’s most controversial cult and history’s most conspiracy-laden rock and roll death HBO are set to clear up in 2015. Documentaries about the moon landing and the Illuminati can’t be far away.