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Hollywood sees a boom in Biblical films

Producers warn that mixing screenplays and Christian values can be tricky

<p>A still from the forthcoming film Son of God (picture courtesy Lightworkers Media)</p>

A still from the forthcoming film Son of God (picture courtesy Lightworkers Media)

  • Sarah Pulliam Bailey for Religion news Service
  • United States
  • October 24, 2013
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Studios and filmmakers are rediscovering a classic text as source material for upcoming mainstream films: the Bible.

Nearly 10 years after the blockbuster success of Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ,” which earned $611.9 million worldwide, studios are looking to the Good Book for good material.

Future films include:

  • LD Entertainment is financially backing  ”Resurrection,” a drama set immediately after Jesus’ death and directed by “Hatfields & McCoys” director Kevin Reynolds.
  • Paramount will release “Noah,” a $125 million adaptation starring Russell Crowe in 2014.
  •  20th Century Fox is developing “Exodus,” a Moses film starring Christian Bale.
  • Warner Bros. has another Moses-themed film titled “Gods And Kings,” which Steven Spielberg flirted with directing.
  • Warner Bros. also is working on a film on Pontius Pilate, rumored to possibly include Brad Pitt.
  • Sony is producing Will Smith’s “The Redemption of Cain,” on the sibling rivalry of Cain and Abel.
  • Lionsgate has been developing “Mary Mother of Christ,” described as “a prequel to ‘The Passion of the Christ”’ and rumored to include Ben Kingsley.

 Alongside the string of upcoming Bible-related films, producers from the History channel’s “The Bible” miniseries just announced that the series’ film adaptation “Son of God” will be released in theaters nationwide in February with 20th Century Fox.

The couple behind the show, Mark Burnett and “Touched by an Angel” star Roma Downey, said mixing Hollywood and the Bible can be tricky.

“It’s not just some story,” said Burnett, who produces “The Voice” and “Survivor.” “There’s a price to pay for failing to stay on track and failing to get the right advisers.”

When showing it to a group of children, the couple said they were told one thing: “Please don’t make it lame.”

“It’s not enough to have good intentions,” said Downey, who plays Jesus’ mother Mary in the series. “It has to be told in a way that’s relevant to a contemporary audience.”

Full Story: Hollywood looks to the Bible for screenplay potential 

Source: Religion News Service

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