Actor/director Eli Roth wants to explore the nature of evil. Michelle Rodriguez (Avatar) wonders whether we could survive an alien attack. Robin Williams explores how drugs work. Maggie Gyllenhaal wants to know why sex is fun. And filmmaker Morgan Spurlock is asking if we’d be healthier if we lived as cavemen did.
Curiosity, the latest pet project from Discovery Networks founder John Hendricks, is a big undertaking: 60 episodes spanning five years, the first due Aug. 7 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, when astrophysicist Stephen Hawking will explore how the world was created and whether God really exists.
“If you’re a suicide bomber, to some people you’re evil incarnate and to other people you’re a hero,” Roth says of his “evil” episode. (His character killed Hitler in Inglourious Basterds). He hopes the series will be provocative enough so “people will start to think outside the way they’ve been thinking.”
But he knows that merely asking about the existence of God is likely to provoke another reaction. “We’ve gotten to a point in our culture where we’re so divided” that merely asking a question is “contentious,” Roth says. But “let’s not forget that that what makes us interesting people. It’s sad that we can’t ask questions anymore. As kids we ask questions; why can’t we ask them as adults?”