So filmmaker Paul Haggis (“Crash”) is prepping a tell-all exposé about his years as a member of the Church of Scientology, right? Only, he's not. And this must be how scurrilous rumors get started because author Lawrence Wright recently rejected the reports that claimed the "The Next Three Days" director would be a major collaborator on his upcoming novel-length explication of the church.
Haggis’ rumored involvement began after he granted Wright an interview for an article in the New Yorker about his membership of and subsequent departure from the church. In 2009, Haggis publicly announced his resignation from the Church of Scientology, vehemently renouncing their stance on gay marriage and their support of Proposition 8. Haggis then granted Wright the interview for a profile, which Wright now says will only be used to inform his book, not lead it.
The filmmaker said in a statement, “I am a great admirer of Mr. Wright, but he has not asked me to cooperate with him on any book. I am certainly not collaborating with him on one.” Wright himself added, “Both the article and the eventual book will explore the Haggis family’s experience inside the church and their decision to leave it. Haggis has been extremely helpful and candid, but he is certainly not a collaborator.”
There seems to be a fine line between collaborator or not. The book is titled "The Heretic of Hollywood: Paul Haggis vs.The Church of Scientology" and as the synopsis reveals, it's still very much centered around Haggis and his experiences with the church. Wright’s book comes after much controversy for the church, including spokesman Tommy Davis’ wild on-air interview about the church’s policies followed by Haggis’ letter which called church leaders liars and confirmed the rumors that the church forces members to cut non-Scientology members out of their lives.
Either way, whether it is merely providing the foundation or revealing all, it's rare for anyone within Hollywood's ranks to speak out about Scientology and we're still very curious about what will be contained within the pages of Wright's book (and the forthcoming article). No word yet on when it might hit shelves, but it was recently repped at the Frankfurt Book Fair so we presume the book is well on its way. - Catherine Scott