Penelope Wilton and David Bradley have joined the cast of Ricky Gervais’ Netflix series After Life.
The show, which was first revealed at the start of the year, is a dark comedy that stars Gervais as Tony, a man with a perfect life. But after his wife Lisa suddenly dies, Tony changes. After contemplating taking his own life, he decides instead to live long enough to punish the world by saying and doing whatever he likes from now on. He thinks it’s like a Super Power — not caring about himself or anyone else — but it turns out to be tricky when everyone is trying to save the nice guy they used to know.
While those details were all we knew about the show for some time, Netflix has now confirmed the eclectic cast who will be joining Gervais in front of the camera. Penelope Wilton (Downton Abbey, Doctor Who) and David Bradley (The Harry Potter series, Game of Thrones) lead the additions to the series, alongside Ashley Jensen (Extras), David Earl (Cemetery Junction, Derek), Joe Wilkinson (Him and Her), Kerry Godliman (Derek), Mandeep Dhillon, Jo Hartley, Roisin Conaty and Diane Morgan (David Brent: Life On The Road), plus Tom Basden (Plebs, David Brent: Life On The Road) and Tony Way (Edge of Tomorrow), who were already attached to the project.
“This cast combines the best of the new breed of great British comedy talent with some of the wonderful alumni of my previous shows,” says Gervais, who exec-produces and directs the show.
Production is now underway on the project.
After Life: Netflix commissions new Ricky Gervais series
9th May 2018
Ricky Gervais’ new Netflix series, After Life, has officially been given the green light.
The comedian has enjoyed huge success behind the stand-up mic, with two specials recently snapped up by Netflix, one of which netted him the highest fee ever paid for a British stand-up special. Now, though, he’s heading back to the small screen, acting, writing and directing a comedy called After Life.
Gervais first revealed details about it at the start of the year in an interview with the Standard, in which he said he was still deciding whether it would be a film or a six-part series. Last night, he confirmed it was the latter.
“I play a man who, after the death of his wife, becomes suicidal but decides to live long enough to punish the world by saying and doing whatever the fuck he likes from now on,” he announced on Twitter.
“This new-found thing liberates him,” he explained in his interview with the Standard. “It’s dark but it’s funny and he gets embroiled with people he would never mix with in the underworld. It’s like he lives two lives.”
Two cast members are already attached to the project: Tony Way, who played Dontos Hollard in Game of Thrones, and Tom Basden, who has worked with Gervais on David Brent movie Life on the Road.
Pre-production officially starts on the show today.
Ricky Gervais reveals details of new Netflix series
2nd January 2018
Ricky Gervais has revealed details of his new Netflix series, which looks set to be his darkest work yet.
The show had a working title of “Roll on Death”, but Gervais decided to change it to something else because it sounded too funny, he explained in an interview with the Standard.
Talking about his current tour, Humanity, the interview also covers the sticky notes on Gervais’ wall, which detail ideas for the drama.
“I don’t know whether it’s a comedy or more of a six-part story. It’s like a series that’s adapted from a novel, I just haven’t written the novel,” he added.
What we do know is that Gervais will play the lead role of a “middle-aged, grumpy” man, whose wife passes away.
“He is in the depths of depression and he nearly kills himself. But the reason he doesn’t is that the dog is hungry, so that saves him for a while. He thinks about his crappy job, he works for a free newspaper,” continued the comedian.
“The only thing that gets him through it is: ‘I’m going to commit suicide one day but until then I’m going to do exactly what I want. I’m going to stop being a doormat and say exactly what I f***ing want’. He’s not scared of a mugger because they can’t kill his wife, he doesn’t give a f***, they can’t hurt him any more. This new-found thing liberates him. It’s dark but it’s funny and he gets embroiled with people he would never mix with in the underworld. It’s like he lives two lives.”
The show already has two cast members attached: Tony Way, who played Dontos Hollard in Game of Thrones, and Tom Basden, who has worked with Gervais before on his David Brent movie, Life on the Road.
The project marks Netflix’s growing relationship with Gervais, following his original film Special Correspondents (pictured above). Netflix has since bought the rights to the stand-up recording of Humanity, which has been filmed at London’s Eventim Apollo. Chortle reports that Gervais secured the highest fee ever paid for a British stand-up special, although the exact number was never disclosed. Now, Chortle has also revealed that Gervais has signed a new deal with Netflix for his next special, even though it hasn’t been performed yet.
“I can’t wait for Humanity to air so I can start all over again on a brand new show,” he told the comedy site. “Stand-up is my new favourite passion now, so it’s an absolute thrill to tour hundreds of wonderful cities and then be able to have it stream on the greatest platform in the world.”