June 20, 2011

The Ledge: Is Hollywood Ready for an Atheist Hero?

The LedgeWhen was the last time you saw an atheist character depicted positively in a feature film? Yeah, it has been awhile for me too.

Atheist characters have been included in many films, but aside from documentaries, we tend to be depicted either as villains or as overcoming our skepticism and embracing some for of superstition. This latter role has become so overused in horror films that I feel like I can spot it a mile away. Wouldn't it be nice to have a feature film with an atheist main character who got to remain an atheist and didn't have to be a villain?

It sounds like we may finally have such a film, coming in the form of The Ledge. This upcoming film from Matthew Chapman stars Liv Tyler, Patrick Wilson, Charlie Hunnam, and Terrence Howard. It has been nominated for Best U.S. Drama at Sundance, and it could help to launch atheism into public awareness if it does well.

The Ledge is set to open in New York and Los Angeles on July 8th. How it performs during this test run will go a long way toward determining whether it will be released nationwide. What can we do to help?

As it turns out, there are plenty of things we can do. Perhaps the most important involves spreading the word about the film on our blogs and through social media. We can create some buzz much like Christians did in anticipation of that Jesus-themed snuff film they put out awhile back.

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