Film-makers who “lawyer up” prior to the release of their projects are not particularly new, but in the case of HBO’s new documentary about the development of Scientology and its adherents, HBO have recruited positively platoons of lawyers – like 160 who are preparing for what the company believes will be an inevitable lawsuit.
“We have probably 160 lawyers” giving the film a look-over, said Sheila Nevins, HBO’s documentary film president, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
The film, called “Going Clear,” is based on Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Lawrence Wright’s tome, “The Looming Tower,” which digs into the background of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and his influence on what some call a church and what others term a cult, CNN said.
Many of Scientology’s members include Hollywood’s biggest names, from John Travolta to Tom Cruise.
The church took umbrage with some of Mr. Wright’s findings and said the purported cases of abuse in the book were outright fabrications.
“The stories of alleged physical abuse are lies concocted by a small group of self-corroborating confessed liars,” Scientology spokeswoman Karin Pouw told CNN back in 2013 when the book was released. “The hard evidence clearly shows that no such conduct ever occurred and that in fact there is evidence that shows it did not occur.”
Read more at the Washington Post