Posted on Wednesday, October 15th, 2008 by Hunter Stephenson
In terms of pouring a glass of water into an active volcano (frequented by aliens?), a $10 million final domestic gross for Religulous will be seen as a success. As other blogs have reported, outrage over the documentary was nil, which is unsurprising yet absurd given that the film shows Bill Maher and Larry Charles declaring a majority of Americans and the world’s citizens to be delusional, ignorant, conspiratorial and complicit in allowing fantasy football-like teams to quicken and encourage the world’s end. These are thematic points that might lead the average jaded dude to shrug, “No shit,” “These two guys need to go buy a Porsche already,” and “Life of Brian was funnier.”
Reviewing the film for the Village Voice, J. Hoberman observed that, [Religulous is] ultimately a celebration of the old-time religion we call entertainment.” And one of my favorite scenes is when Maher interviews a young Christian guy at the Holy Land Experience theme park in Orlando (shades of Universal Studios) who casually brings up parallels between his religion and Star Wars. With the acceleration of movie-based fandom, I entertained whether proteges of Maher and Charles will make a similar documentary many years from now decrying that Star Wars was only “a fiction,” George Lucas a charlatan. Essentially, Religulous aspires to mock and destroy various older fandoms, ones with $1000 collectibles, conventions, a ginormous hierarchy of fan-fic and the occasional passive-aggressive/murderous relationship with outsiders. In other words, it’s an angrier, far more dumbfounded and epic Trekkies, and Charles wants to turn it into an HBO series…
“My hope is that the movie is successful enough, and I’ve already talked to Lionsgate about this, but I would like to take the 400 hours [of Religulous footage] and cut it into half hours and like sell it to HBO or something,” Charles tells AICN’s Quint. So people can see a lot of the stuff that didn’t make it into the movie. …I would love to be involved with that. I mean I could work on this movie in one form or another for the rest of my life really, I’m happy.”
Given that Maher already has a show and longterm relationship at HBO, and Charles has a hand in both Curb Your Enthusiasm and “Kanye West’s CYB,” the possibility of a series (or a series of specials) based on their theatrical effort seems likely, no?
Discuss: Should Larry Charles and Bill Maher proceed with taking Religulous to TV? Would you watch it?