The Man Who Sued God is a 2001 Australian comedy film directed by Mark Joffe and starring Billy Connolly and Judy Davis. The film was a commercial triumph, debuting at the top of the Australian box office in its first week.
Sir Billy Connolly’s character, lawyer Steve Myers, is disillusioned by the lies and fraud he encounters in court and intends to resign. He puts money into a small yacht and sets sail. Then one day he wakes up to find his yacht has been destroyed by lightning. He notifies his insurance company, who investigates and then denies his claim, claiming that they are not accountable because his yacht was destroyed by an ‘act of God.’
With no money to buy another yacht, Steve makes a spectacular lawsuit against God, claiming the Pope and the local Bishop as God’s representatives and thus the respondents. The Pope, the Bishop, their respective lawyers, and their insurance company get together to try to solve this conundrum, which piques the media’s interest. God’s agents will have to either agree that Steve’s yacht was His Act, accept it, and compensate him in court, or deny it entirely, denying His existence and putting the burden of proof on Steve to substantiate his claim.
On February 15, Bob Carr, the then-Premier of New South Wales, paid a visit to the set and presented Gannon Films with a $50,000 subsidy to help offset the costs of filming in a regional location. The two-week filming was estimated to have brought in $250,000 to the local economy.
With an opening weekend box office of A$1.1 million, The Man Who Sued God debuted at number one. By the end of the year, it had made $8.1 million in Australia, for a total of A$8,546,867.