Actor to co-direct comedy with Matt Robinson

Ricky Gervais will take on the starring role in “This Side of the Truth.”

The Media Rights Capital-financed comedy shoots in the spring.

Gervais had committed to co-direct the comedy with his co-writer Matt Robinson. Pic marks Gervais’ feature directing debut and first major project since wrapping the HBO series “Extras,” which begins its third season on Dec. 18. Gervais is nominated for four Emmys for the comedy.

“This Side of the Truth” is set in a contemporary world where no one has ever lied. Gervais will play a performer who tells the first lie and harnesses its power for personal gain.

“My character works in the film industry, where actors are really readers who tell completely factual stories,” Gervais said. “My character’s a loser who’s about to lose his job, and who’s lumbering through the 1300s. All he’s got to work with is the Black Death. But once he lies and pretends he’s found lost stories, he becomes the greatest storyteller in the world.”

Pic will be produced by Lynda Obst and Oly Obst.

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