The Humanist Hour #64: Matthew Chapman and The Ledge

The Humanist Hour #64: Matthew Chapman and The Ledge July 28, 2011

A new episode of the Humanist Hour is available for listening. Keep reading to find out about the guests on this month’s show.

In this month’s  podcast, Jes Constantine and Todd Stiefel interview writer, director, and producer, Matthew Chapman about the release of his film, The Ledge and also Science Debate 2012.

Matthew Chapman

Matthew Chapman was born in Cambridge, England. He came to America in the 80s and has lived here ever since, first in Los Angeles, then, for the last ten years, in New York. He writes screenplays and non-fiction books and has written for Harpers Magazine.

His latest book is “40 Days and 40 Nights – Darwin, Intelligent Design, God, OxyContin, and Other Oddities On Trial in Pennsylvania”. Published by Harper/Collins, it tells the story of a small town ripped apart when fundamentalism and science came in conflict.

He also wrote “Trials Of The Monkey – An Accidental Memoir”. Published by Picador, it is an account of the Scopes Trial told in the form of a road trip Chapman took to the town where the trial took place, along with a memoir of his childhood growing up as a descendant of Charles Darwin.

The Ledge

The Ledge is the first drama in Hollywood history to feature an openly atheist hero in a story about religious conflict. Nominated for Best US Drama at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, the new thriller is available now On Demand.

The Ledge is the first film in Hollywood history that puts an atheist into the hero role in a production that features A-list stars. It is written and directed by Matthew Chapman, the great-great-grandson of Charles Darwin, the scientist who discovered evolution, the biggest challenge to religion since Gallileo. The film was nominated for Best US Drama at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and stars Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy), Liv Tyler (Lord of the Rings, Tony, Emmy, and Golden Globe nominee), Patrick Wilson (Watchmen), and Oscar nominee Terrence Howard (Crash, Iron Man).

On the rooftop of a city skyscraper, Detective Hollis (Terrence Howard) pleads with Gavin (Charlie Hunnam) not to jump. What he does not know is that Gavin, an atheist, is involved in a deadly feud with Joe (Patrick Wilson), a Christian extremist. Joe’s wife, Shana, (Liv Tyler) is caught in the middle as Joe seeks to test Gavin’s faith or lack of it. Cutting between the present and the past, tension escalates as verbal shots give way to deadly threats in a race against time that neither God nor the police can stop. Along the way, the film provocatively explores the intellectual and emotional conflicts between religion and atheism.


Watch The Ledge anytime through Video on Demand (your cable service), through the iTunes Store (go to the link and click View in iTunes) or on the Internet at Sundance Now.

Science Debate 2012

Science Debate does this by hosting nonpartisan science policy debates between candidates for office, educational events featuring science and technology topics for policymakers and the public, media education efforts to improve science and technology policy coverage, and other civic and community engagement activities.

Our efforts lie at the intersection of science, policymakers and candidates for office, the media, and the public.

Links from this month’s episode:

Music from this month’s episode (in order of appearance):

Browse Our Archives

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment