No offence to religious readers of The Documentary Blog, but I must say i’m pretty excited to see Larry Charles and Bill Maher give organized religion a little kick in the ass. Today Lionsgate sent out a press release for the upcoming documentary ‘Religulous’, directed by Charles (Borat, Curb Your Enthusiasm) and starring Maher. The film follows Maher as he visits various religious sites around the world, posing tough questions about religion and ultimately challenging the existence of God. The press release included our first look at the teaser poster, featuring Maher’s unholy image on a grilled cheese sandwich. But even more interesting were the written filmmaker statements which really solidify the tone of this film. Larry Charles seems to sum things up perfectly well:
“Ok. An old God, a very buff old God that lives in space decides to create the first man from earth dust, then makes a woman from that man’s rib. They get to live forever if they don’t eat the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge, but the woman is tricked into eating a piece by a talking snake and all future humanity is cursed. Or, how bout this one? This same space God who lives in the sky and has power over everything decides he wants a son, so he impregnates a woman but she remains a virgin. And, the child can walk on water and raise the dead. But his father, the sky God, sends him on a suicide mission to save humanity. After he dies, he rises from the dead and flies into space to be with his father (who is also him.)
Greek myths? The latest installment of the “Lord of the Rings”? Disney’s new animated movie? No! These are the foundations of Western religion. The tenuous shaky belief systems that our entire civilization rests upon.”
Maher isn’t too far behind with a statement barbed in his trademark cynical humour:
“Since starting on Politically Incorrect in 1993, it has been my pleasure over the last decade and a half to make organized religion one of my favorite targets. I often explained to people, “I don’t need to make fun of religion, it makes fun of itself.” And, then I go ahead and make fun of it too, just for laughs.
With religious fanatics like George Bush and Osama bin Laden now taking over the world, it seemed to me in recent years that this issue — this cause of debunking the man behind the curtain — needed to have a larger, more insistent and focused forum than late night television. I wanted to make a documentary, and I wanted it to be funny. In fact, since there is nothing more ridiculous than the ancient mythological stories that live on as today’s religions, this movie would try to be a real knee slapper. Unless, of course, you’re religious, then you might not like it.”
Still no sign of a trailer for this one, but i’ll definitely be keeping an eye out. The film is looking at a spring 2008 release as stated by Maher in an interview on Larry King Live. Check out the video below and keep your eyes peeled for Religulous.
Related Video: Bill Maher Discusses Religulous on Larry King Live