Self-proclaimed atheist Ricky Gervais is looking to shake things up some more, creating a new sitcom called the “Afterlife.”
Teaming up with “Dexter” producer Clyde Phillips, the English comedian, outspoken on his stance about atheism, will start a show about an atheist who dies and goes to heaven – with controversy sure to follow.
Though Gervais will not star in the show himself, he will appear in some cameos.
“I am so excited about this project,” “The Office” creator penned on his website.
As a big fan of the show “Dexter,” Gervais expressed his enthusiasm in working with the show’s producer on his new sitcom.
“‘Dexter’ has consistently been my favorite show of the last five 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.”
Entertainment Weekly reported that the plot of the “Afterlife” resembled aspects of Gervais’ previous 2009 film “The Invention of Lying.”
The pilot episode is currently being written, according to EW, and filming is set for 2012.
Not the first time Gervais has tackled the topic of faith, the 50-year-old actor, an Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society, previously wrote two pieces for The Wall Street Journal entitled, “A Holiday Message from Ricky Gervais: Why I’m an Atheist” and “A Holiday Message from Ricky Gervais: Why I’m A Good Christian.”
The articles explained why being a Christian or an atheist didn’t necessarily make someone a good or bad person and also mentioned his previous belief in “the Christian God” which was now substituted by science and evolution, facts and truth.
“I know faith exists. I see it all the time. But believing in something doesn’t make it true. Hoping that something is true doesn’t make it true. The existence of God is not subjective. He either exists or he doesn’t. It’s not a matter of opinion.”
“You can have your own opinions. But you can’t have your own facts,” Gervais stated. “The truth, however shocking or uncomfortable, in the ends leads to liberation and dignity.”
Spurring a slew of comments from Christians, several religious leaders also responded, most notably Christian author Lee Strobel, who was once an atheist himself.
Whereas Gervais looked at the evidence and found no reason to believe, Strobel found all the more reason to believe after studying the evidence.
“In the end, after I had thoroughly investigated the matter I reached an unexpected conclusion: it would actually take more faith to maintain my atheism than to become a follower of Jesus.”
“The evidence is what tipped the scales,” Strobel noted, challenging all atheists, even Gervais himself, to study the facts with an open heart and mind and come to a conclusion.