Louis Theroux incites anger from the Church of Scientology with his latest movie.
Justin Theroux's documentary filmmaker cousin Louis Theroux is about to launch his controversial new film 'My Scientology Movie' this Fall, exploring the truth behind the incendiary religion using a highly unorthodox approach with the help of ex senior church official of the Church of Scientology Mark Rathbun.
Louis Theroux has finally done a movie about Scientology
Directed by John Dower ('Thrilla in Manila', 'Live Forever'), 'My Scientology Movie' was written by and stars Louis Theroux, who was inspired by Joshua Oppenheimer's documentary 'The Act of Killing' in the creation of the film. The main crux of the movie is the recreation of various events allegedly witnessed by former members within the Church of Scientology. The idea for this approach came from the Church's repeated refusal to grant Theroux a conventional documentary.
A group of young actors audition for roles as high-profile Scientologists such as Tom Cruise and the current leader of the Church David Miscavige to re-enact events that former members of the Church - like Mark Rathbun - have claimed to have occurred during their time there. Many of the incidents highlight alleged violence from Miscavige, the alleged punishment facility nicknamed 'the Hole', and Theroux even deigns to visit their highly covert center in California named Gold Base. The film has been produced by the twice Oscar winning Simon Chinn ('Searching for Sugar Man').
The film premiered at the London Film Festival in October last year to glowing reviews. Naturally, the Church of Scientology reacted with anger and even before the film's release they started putting everyone in the film crew under surveillance and sending strange lawyers' letters which, in Theroux's opinion, only exacerbated their reputation for instability. The re-enactments also helped Theroux better understand the motives of the people recounting the incidents, which caused some issues between the filmmaker and Rathbun on more than one occasion.
Theroux has been doing documentaries for the BBC since the late 90s, producing unique insights into a variety of subjects in series such as 'Louis Theroux's Weird Weekends' and 'When Louis Met...'. Both series have earned him BAFTA Awards.
'My Scientology Movie' is set to be released on October 7th 2016.