Having already narrowly escaped the wrath of Kim Jong-un after giving the North Korean leader a violent end in The Interview, Seth Rogen has angered another world power: the Church of Scientology. Rogen's adaptation of the classic graphic novel Preacher, set for an AMC premiere on May 22, has reportedly angered Scientology officials for its satirical depiction of the organization.
The pilot introduces a "mysterious force from outer space" that's hitting preachers all across the globe and promptly causing them to explode, with Entertainment Weekly noting that the SXSW cut showed Tom Cruise meeting the same demise:
Another throwaway gag made buzz in particular by depicting the death of Tom Cruise. In the pilot, a mysterious force from outer space is possessing preachers around the world – then graphically exploding them from the inside out. Midway through the episode, there’s a news report that shows Cruise speaking in front of a Church of Scientology audience, and then likewise blowing up.
Though one might assume that Cruise isn't a fan of being killed off in the very first episode of AMC's latest blockbuster, there may be more to the brewing controversy. In an interview with Uproxx in promotion of the forthcoming Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising on Monday, Rogen admitted that word of Cruise's fictional demise had indeed traveled far and wide. "We might have got a call from his camp just kind of asking what the story was," Rogen revealed. "I'm not sure how that wrapped itself up."
When asked to clarify the current status of that Tom Cruise quasi-cameo, a representative for Rogen told Complex on Tuesday that he currently had "no comment." However, as evidenced by the coverage surrounding last year's controversial Going Clear documentary, the Church of Scientology is known to allegedly make their disapproval of any given movie quite apparent.
Crash director Paul Haggis, a former Scientologist, shared an email he allegedly received from a so-named Scientology "spy" with the Hollywood Reporter in April of last year. The email presented itself as a simple press inquiry from someone claiming to be a writer for TIME. However, once Haggis did some digging, he quickly learned that the person who sent the email had no such connection with the publication. Furthermore, the email was believed to have been sent from a computer within the Scientology-owned Anthony Building in Los Angeles.
The Church of Scientology did not immediately respond to Complex's request for comment.