Friday, December 29, 2006

Hollywood looks more to faith-based inspiration

With the recent showings of reverently filmed movies about Jesus with "The Passion of the Christ" and "The Nativity Story," it seems that Hollywood is paying attention to the Christian audience it has alienated and are planning on producing more religious-themed movies in the near future. Some upcoming films:

The Resurrection

This movie is now slated for a February 22, 2008 release, from the original Easter 2007 date. This film covers the 40-day period of time between Christ's Resurrection and His ascension in to Heaven. There is little information, but there are tidbits from this Reuters article:

Using the Bible for its source material, "Resurrection" will tell the story of Jesus Christ beginning the day he died on the cross and ending about 40 days later with his ascension into heaven.

According to insiders, Sony's mid-budget Screen Gems division commissioned a script several months ago from Lionel Chetwynd, the veteran screenwriter, producer and director whose credits include the feature "The Hanoi Hilton" and the Emmy-nominated TV movie "Ike: Countdown to D-Day."

Set to produce is Tim LaHaye, co-author of the best-selling "Left Behind" series of books.

According to the Bible, women who visited the tomb of Jesus Christ three days after his crucifixion found it empty, and his disciples and other acquaintances, including Mary Magdalene, encountered him postresurrection on various occasions during a 40-day period.

The film will focus on these dramatic encounters and their implications for the Roman garrison in Judea and the broader Roman Empire, insiders said.

"This is not a fanciful rendering. It's a serious attempt to understand the Roman world in which Christ moved and the Christian era was born," a person familiar with the project said.

J. Michael Straczynski

JMS is one of my favorite writers, responsible for creating the fantastic sci-fi show "Babylon 5." In his end-of-the-year update on his numerous projects, he states that he is writing an upcoming film about the life of King David that I am very excited about:

The screenplay for the film I'm writing for Universal will be turned in mid-January. Akiva Goldsman is among the producers on this project, a big budget historical movie based on the life of King David.

Darren Aronofsky

Apparently, director Darren Aronofsky is eyeing his next film to be a Biblical Epic of some type. He has been mum on the actual subject matter, though. Details that are known below:

Aronofsky Eyes Biblical Epic Next

Darren Aronofsky, director of Pi and the upcoming SF epic The Fountain, told SCI FI Wire that his next film will be either a large-scale biblical epic with fantasy elements or a small, intimate film based in reality. "The next project we haven't announced yet, but ... we're working on ... something that's very, very big and something that's very, very small," Aronofsky said in an interview in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Nov. 11. "I just want to start shooting something in '07, because [The Fountain] took a long time, and I want to do something that's going to get me to set a lot quicker. I mean, [in] the last six years I've worked with actors for [only] 60 days, and I want to get back to set."

Aronofsky declined to discuss details of the big movie, which he said is an original idea. "We are working on something that's biblical in nature, and, luckily, that can mean a lot of different things." He added: "The big project is very, very fantasy-based. ... [And] all my fantasy stuff leans towards science fiction."

Earlier, Aronofsky told the C.H.U.D. Web site that he has been carrying the premise around in his head since childhood. Beyond that, the director won't say much. "They're in embryonic phases, and so if you start talking about it you kind of dispel the magic. For me." The Fountain opens Nov. 22. —Patrick Lee, News Editor

An excerpt from an interview

That was so exciting for a moment there.

The new thing is even more exciting, and I'll give you an exclusive. I'm not going to tell you exactly what it is, but…it's a biblical epic.


(laughs) In English!

What led you to that?

It's something I've wanted to do for a long time. Before Pi. Probably ten years ago, I had an idea. Actually, I wrote a poem about it when I was in 7th grade. I won this award for it -- my first writing award. So it's a story from the Bible that kind of stuck with me. About ten years ago I was at a museum that featured an exhibit that reminded me of it. So we've been trying to crack it for a while, and we finally figured out a direction. But…I can't tell you any more.
For futher upcoming religious films, check out the Christian Movie Database.


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