Film and TV

Our Casting Suggestions for Scientology: The Movie

Recently, Oscar-winning screenwriter and director Paul Haggis participated in a lengthy New Yorker interview in which he condemned his former religion, Scientology, calling it a cult and detailing the organization's indecent practices.

Also this month, word resurfaced about There Will Be Blood director Paul Thomas Anderson's previously-on-hold Scientology movie The Master starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman as an L. Ron Hubbard-like religious leader who shepherds a young and troubled adherent into his Scientology-modeled cult called "The Cause." Apparently billionairess Megan Ellison, the 25-year-old daughter of Oracle boss Larry Ellison, is on board to finance the picture.

While Anderson's film is inspired by Scientology's beginnings in the 1950s and '60s, when Hubbard spent years aboard a yacht writing his religious texts and allegedly consuming heroic amounts of drugs, we wondered what interest Haggis might have in writing a present-day film account of Scientology, now that he's speaking out against his former church.

Because we have some ideas about how to cast the major characters.

Role (in flashback): L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology

Actor: Phillip Seymour Hoffman

Unfortunately the veteran actor Don S. Davis, known for his roles in Stargate SG-1 and Twin Peaks, died in 2009. The veteran actor would have made a perfect Hubbard--he very closely resembled him. But Hoffman would undoubtedly be the next logical choice, and obviously Anderson recognized that potential.

We think John Travolta would also make an excellent Hubbard; his characterization as Brig. Gen. Quintard in Terrence Malick's The Thin Red Line was very Hubbard-esque. But that would take Travolta officially leaving the church.