Religulous Moves To October

Originally scheduled to open wide on July 2nd, Religulous, Bill Maher and Larry Charles's documentary aimed at the pulsing jugular of all religions, will now be released on October 3rd, 2008. Lionsgate says the film wasn't ready to premiere at this month's Cannes Film Festival, where it would have become a "media lightning rod" according to studio president Tom Ortenberg. The movie is a smart one. Against the blanketed media coverage of this summer's box office goliaths and rah-rah flops like Speed Racer, mainstream/traditional media would have easily buried the controversy/discussion that Maher's doc needs to be a Michael Moore-like hit. Lionsgate now hopes to hit the fall festival circuit hard up until its October release, where it will face off with tiny Michael Cera's Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist...and God(s).

As for Maher, he's still taking jabs, telling Variety...

"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."

What are the chances Maher gets struck by lightning or disappears by October? Back in my hometown/golf country's sole spiffy theater, churches have started advertising their services before every movie. What is that about? I checked online out of curiosity and Ben Stein's Expelled played for a few weeks, so I'm wondering if Religulous will nab a screen as well. There Will Be Blood did not, NCFOM did. What a weird world.

Discuss: A better date for Religulous? Do you agree with Maher's statement above?