Ricky Gervais has announced plans to team with former DEXTER showrunner and writer Clyde Phillips on a new TV project titled AFTERLIFE, the story of an atheist who dies and goes to heaven.
From Rick’s latest blog entry: “DEXTER has consistently been my favourite show of the last 5 years. When I first saw Clyde's name all over it I knew I had to work with him one day. I found out he was also a fan of my work and we became friends on email and through short conversations on various red carpets. We finally started working on an idea this year and we really hit it off. I am so excited about this project.”
Can’t fault his taste. DEXTER is consistently excellent and always darkly compelling, thanks in no small part to Clyde Phillips. I’m sure Phillips will be a positive influence on Gervais. I hope so anyway.
They’re writing the pilot now and plan to shoot in 2012. Ricky will be mainly behind the scenes on this one, taking only a cameo role in front of the camera.
I like Gervais. A lot. I’m a massive fan but after a point I have to admit his writing is stronger when he collaborates. His partnership with Stephen Merchant has yielded two of the finest shows of all time and I have high hopes for their latest project LIFE'S TOO SHORT, starring Warwick Davis. No official word if Merchant is connected with AFTERLIFE, perhaps it’s too much to hope for.
No other details have been released as yet but, to me, it sounds a little too close (in tone) to THE INVENTION OF LYING. Gervais has expressed his views on atheism ad nauseam - in the press, in his stand-up, his sitcoms, and even while hosting this year's Golden Globes ceremony. It’s no surprise the protagonist in his new show would be defined by these beliefs.
Rick, I’m a big fan and I get it: you’re an atheist. I have absolutely no issue with that (honestly). I applaud your convictions and respect the well reasoned points you make, I just don’t think it’s the rich seam of comedy gold you clearly do. After a while it just seems self indulgent. Your views aren’t dangerous or controversial. We’re a pretty secular society right now, I would think at this point even Richard Dawkins would suggest you ‘take it down a notch’ (I’m also sick of that story you tell about peeing in the sink. I must have heard that ‘gem’ 10 times, retire it already!).
That said, Clyde Phillips’ involvement in this project is reason to celebrate and Ricky is always entertaining. We look forward to more details in the coming months.
Thoughts? Share 'em with your Starburst brethren in the Comments below!