Tom Cruise’s People Have Contacted Seth Rogen About A Scientology Joke In The ‘Preacher’ Pilot Episode

Getty Image / Getty / AMC

This is your warning that if you don’t want the details of a joke that appears in the Preacher pilot that’s been widely reported on since Preacher’s premiere at SXSW, you shouldn’t continue reading. Okay, onward…

Back at SXSW in March, the pilot of AMC’s Preacher premiered to great reviews. Produced by Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and Sam Catlin, Preacher had one specific joke that had the crowd buzzing. As Entertainment Weekly describes it:

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.

At the time, Rogen was asked if he’d heard from Cruise. He hadn’t, but added, “I will run into [Cruise] one day, though. That will happen. And I’ll have to explain that. I’ll have to come up with a way in my head to make it seem complimentary but I haven’t done it yet.”

Over the weekend, I spoke to Rogen about his new film, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (we will have much more about the film this Wednesday and will publish the rest of the interview with Rogen closer to the film’s release) and I asked if he’d heard from Cruise since SXSW. As it turns out, he has.

“We might have got a call from his camp just kind of asking what the story was,” said Rogen as he laughed nervously. He added, “I’m not sure how that wrapped itself up.”

Again, during SXSW, almost every entertainment outlet reported on the Cruise scene. So, yes, as Rogen explains, “No, I think they heard about it. I think his people have access to every website on the planet.”

It’s unclear right now if any of this will affect the scene being in the first episode when it debuts May 22. And as Rogen said above, he’s not sure where it stands right now, adding. “I’m a coward. I try to avoid those kind of things at all costs.”

We will find out on May 22.

Mike Ryan lives in New York City and has written for The Huffington Post, Wired, Vanity Fair and New York magazine. He is senior entertainment writer at Uproxx. You can contact him directly on Twitter.