The actor and comedian will play Tony in the six-part show, a man who is struggling to cope with life after the death of his wife, Lisa.
According to an official synopsis, “He decides instead to live long enough to punish the world by saying and doing whatever he likes from now on. He thinks it’s like a Super Power – not caring about himself or anyone else – but it turns out to be tricky when everyone is trying to save the nice guy they used to know.”
The trailer, which you can watch below, sees the character dealing with his elderly father, who can’t remember that Lisa died, and adopting his new, unflinchingly rude attitude in encounters with strangers and colleagues.
After Life also stars Game Of Thrones’ David Bradley, Catastrophe’s Ashley Jensen, Doctor Who’s Penelope Wilton, comedian Roisin Conaty, and more. The series was created, written, and directed by Gervais, and will arrive on Netflix on March 8.
Previously, the star said the “only thing” that gets Tony through his depressions is the idea that he will take his own life one day. He’s not scared of a mugger because they can’t kill his wife, he doesn’t give a fuck, they can’t hurt him anymore,” Gervais said. “This new-found thing liberates him. It’s dark but it’s funny and he gets embroiled with people he would never mix with in the underworld. It’s like he lives two lives.”
Speaking to NME last year, Gervais discussed his Netflix comedy special, Humanity, which arrived seven years after his last previous stand-up show. Asked if he’d gotten better at it, he said: “Yeah, I think I’m more mature, and because the audience know me they get the irony now and the satire. Among friends, when you’re saying naughty things, you don’t keep saying, ‘I’m joking’. I’ve got those sort of rights now.”