Speaking exclusively to Rotten Tomatoes, writer and comedy actor Ricky Gervais revealed that his upcoming feature film, The Man from the Pru, would spinoff into its own television series shortly after its debut. “We’re thinking of doing a TV spinoff,” Gervais said. “We’re doing it the M*A*S*H way round. It was originally just going to be a TV series — in fact it predates Extras.”
The multi-hyphenate, whose directorial debut This Side of the Truth is shot and is due in cinemas late next year, recently visited the Rotten Tomatoes office in London to collect a Certified Fresh award for Ghost Town, in which he stars. The film, about a man whose hospital mishap results in a rather unwanted ability to see dead people, is currently an impressive 85% fresh with 143 reviews collected.
The Man from the Pru will be his next project, and his first big-screen collaboration with Stephen Merchant, with whom he co-wrote The Office and Extras. The film will follow a group of twenty-somethings in the 1970s as they waste their lives while working at the Prudential building society. “It’s that thing of whether these working class guys can escape their class. Are they going to move in with their mum when they get married and then move in next door when they get their first house?”
Explaining the concept of spinning the film off into its own TV show, Ricky told RT, “it’d be lovely to launch this sort of quintessentially British feel and then have that ongoing thing ready where you can hit the ground running. I think it’s a much better way around than doing a TV show and trying to turn it into a film. This way around gives it a bit more gravitas, I think.
“The film would be The Man from the Pru, but then the show could be The Men from the Pru. It could be a prequel, we might not get to where we did in the film, or we might move the emphasis a bit, we might make it slightly more sitcom and less epic. We’re going to think of it as we go along, really.”
The project is close to home for Gervais in more ways than one. Not only is it set in his hometown of Reading, but he revealed that some of the dialogue in the script for the film came from conversations he’d had with his mother in his youth. “There’s a line in it that my mum said to me,” he explained. “I was thinking of going to France and she went, ‘What do you want to go abroad for? There are parts of your own town that you haven’t seen yet.'”
Of course we’ll be following the project as we learn more, but that’s not all from Gervais on RT this month. Join us tomorrow when we’ll be sharing his words on the possibility of more Extras, and later on to catch his hilarious acceptance speech and our full interview. Could Karl Pilkington soon be reviewing films on RT? Find out more soon.
Ghost Town is in cinemas now. You can find out more about Ricky’s many upcoming projects at rickygervais.com