At the end of my ramblings about The Invention of Lying, I said this:
If I were to guess as a guy with no clue whatsoever, I’d say that the religion stuff turned off the test audiences, so they re-shot and added a bunch of crap to obscure that subplot and re-shaped the movie as a shitty romantic comedy. It’s not good, but it’s interesting to see a film that attempts to discuss big ideas get its balls cut off.
Later on, a friend of mine said that he heard Ricky Gervais talk about that very thing on a podcast, and that’s pretty much exactly what happened: The religion stuff made goobers poop their pants, so they reshot the film to death.
Now look at this article that came out last week. Supposedly, the issue is budget, but the film is also clearly a Scientology bash-a-thon. I’m wondering if Universal is balking at that aspect as well, especially after the failure of The Invention of Lying, which was made by Focus Features, a division of . . . yep, Chrysler. No wait shit Universal sorry.
Does the TIL debacle signal the end of religious satire in mainstream films? Has one more avenue of creative expression been closed? For the sake of my theory based on the unimpeachable source of My Friend Who Told Me A Thing That He Heard, let’s go with yes, absolutely.
(By the way, how awesome would a P.T. Anderson Scientology slam be? I’d totally watch that, even if it means enduring Philip Seymour “Stop mumbling, you fucking slob” Hoffman.)