Ricky Gervais has made frequent allusion to the fact that he is an atheist, evidenced in the skewering of organized religion as an elaborate fairy tale in The Invention Of Lying, as well as the number of times Gervais has said publicly, “I am an atheist.” But like many atheists, there’s also a part of him that wonders whether he’s wrong—or at least, enough so to mine the comic premise of Afterlife, a new show he’s writing with former Dexter showrunner Clyde Phillips that will examine what happens when an atheist dies and finds himself in heaven. For example, he might discover it’s insanely crowded, considering the rules for admission are lax enough that even the atheists are getting in. If that’s the case, the blasphemers and fornicators are a lock, so that’s some good news. Unlike most of his TV projects, Gervais plans to take only a cameo role in Afterlife, which is set to begin filming early next year, and no doubt raising the ire of Christian watchdog groups shortly thereafter.
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