Bill Maher teaming up with Larry Charles (most recently the director of Borat, among many other funny things) for a documentary about world religion is great news for those of us who are not afraid to THINK about faith and God, and not just accept the knee-jerk inane teachings of our parents. The fact that Lionsgate is picking the movie up is more good news; the studio is no stranger to dealing with controversy and this untitled film, which takes shots at all the major religions, will be courting plenty of that.
‘I can’t imagine a better team to tackle the subject of religion in a smart, inventive and unpretentious way,’ said Lionsgate President of Theatrical Films Tom Ortenberg. ‘We feel this film can play as broadly as a Michael Moore film, and it’s sure to be as provocative, informative and entertaining as any documentary in recent memory. Certainly, the promo reel that the sales team screened at Cannes generated enormous enthusiasm among acquisition executives across the board.’
Said Maher, "Comedically, the topic of religion is hitting the side of a barn — it’s literally hard to miss. This movie will make you laugh so hard you’ll pray for it to stop."
Observed Charles, "Nietzsche said God is dead, but he didn’t see the grosses for ‘Passion of The Christ.’"
There’s no release date – I’m not even sure if the film is finished, as only portions were shown to buyers at Cannes – but I’m hoping they get the movie out at some point this year. As the world continues to descend into religion-fueled chaos, we need a clearheaded look at this dangerous global fantasy now more than ever.