The film, which comes out October 2, takes place in a world where everyone believes everything that everyone says because no one has ever lied – until, one day, the character played by Gervais figures out not only how to lie, but how to manipulate everyone else's gullibility for his own ends.
And what sort of "big controversies" do Gervais and Robinson have in mind?
The article quotes Robinson as saying:
"It's not in the trailer and it's a huge part of the film, but [Gervais] stumbles upon inventing something that in a world without lying wouldn't exist, which is probably going to piss a lot of people off."
Hmmm. That's not very specific. But perhaps there's a hint of what he's getting at in this interview with co-star Jennifer Garner over at Hitfix. Asked if she jumped at the chance to be in a movie with such a unique concept, she replies:
Yup. Well, I did have a moment to pause with would my parents think it was blasphemy, you know? . . . And then I talked to them about it, and they said, "We have a sense of humor. We're not humorless, you know? What do you think?" They were just like, "If it is important, do it. Do whatever you want." But that was it.
Hmmm. Still not very specific – although, while discussing the challenges of coming up with dialogue for a world where no one has ever lied, she does go on to say:
Even little things like you can't really say gosh, because that's a derivative of God, which you'd never use because he didn't exist. You know, it's stuff like that. It really touches your language and the way you use language in a million different ways.
Hmmm again. And for what it's worth, the synopsis at the movie's official website declares:
In a world where every word is assumed to be the absolute truth, Mark easily lies his way to fame and fortune. But lies have a way of spreading, and Mark begins to realize that things are getting a little out of control when some of his tallest tales are being taken as, well, gospel.
Hmmm yet again. Finally, take a look at the trailer above. Around the one-minute mark, right after Gervais's character has figured out how to lie, there is a sudden rush of images. Here are most if not all of them, in the order in which they appear, more or less:
Hmmm. Notice any recurring themes?
Here's Gervais on how he became an atheist at the age of eight: