Sunday, February 11, 2007

Resurrection Sequel: Another Faith-Based Movie to Release on Peter

Variety reports that a new movie is in the works to highlight the life of Peter, primarily his work in founding the church in Rome.

Producer signs on for 'Peter'
Pellegrino teams with Canadians for religious pic

German producer Roland Pellegrino, who financed the "The Red Baron," is leaping from the aerial battles of World War I to the streets of ancient Rome.

He's teaming with Canadian duo Jakob de Boer and Bess Fotopoulus to bring the life of Jesus' most influential disciple to the big screen.

The English-language "The Sword of Peter" tells the story of the Galilean fisherman who founded the Christian church in Rome. The film explores the early days of Christianity under the reign of Emperor Nero and the burning of Rome in 64 A.D.

Billed as "Gladiator" meets "The Passion of the Christ," pic is produced by de Boer and Fotopoulus' Toronto-based FOS with de Boer set to direct from his own script.

"The Sword of Peter" is budgeted at $40 million and will shoot in Italy and Israel. The producers are looking to finance the film by way of Canadian subsidies, international presales and private equity from Germany.

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Tidbit of an update for Star Trek XI

So far, it's fairly certain that Matt Damon will likely play a young James Kirk in the next Star Trek movie. Another actor is now rumored to play the young Scotty: Scottish actor James McAvoy (Mr. Tumnus in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe).

From Sci-Fi Wire:

Scottish actor James McAvoy (The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) is rumored to be in line for the role of Enterprise engineer Montgomery "Scotty" Scott in J.J. Abrams' proposed 11th Star Trek movie, British tabloid The Sunday Mail reported.

From sat down exclusively with James McAvoy to see if there was any truth to the rumor of him starring in the upcoming Star Trek movie. They will post the entire video interview tonight. Until then, here's a transcript of what he had to say about it.

IESB: James, I've heard a rumor and I need you to help me put it to rest or find out if it's true, a newpaper says you are the favorite to play Scotty in the new Star Trek film.

JM: Beam me up! (laughing)

IESB: Have you been approached and would you do it?

JM: I was approached by a Klingon (laughing) and I ran away. I was very scared, he came at me with his batleth. (laughter) I'm a very big Star Trek fan, you see, and, but, no, I couldn't possibly comment.

IESB: So you have been approached?

JM: Not in so many words.

IESB: So you would do it if you were approached?

JM: I don't know to tell you the truth, I'm a Star Trek geek, fan, fanatic, so, anything about it could make me cry. But I'm not going to, I'm saving that for the talent show.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

C.S. Lewis' Screwtape Letters to be put on film

Walden Media, who has produced (and is producing) Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia on film (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe in 2005; Currently producing Prince Caspian), has decided to put Lewis' book, The Screwtape Letters, on film. Ralph Winter, a Christian producer, will also be working on the movie. This should be interesting to see visually, since the book is written as a series of letters from a senior demon, Screwtape, to his nephew, Wormwood, on how to properly tempt mankind, particularly Christians. Christianity Today reports here:

Ralph Winter—producer of the X-Men and Fantastic Four films—is a well-known Christian in Hollywood, and Walden Media has scored one of the biggest box office hits in recent years with their adaptation of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, by beloved Christian author C. S. Lewis.

Now these two forces are joining for another Lewis adaptation—this time, his cherished spiritual warfare novel, The Screwtape Letters.
Variety reports that Winter will produce the adaptation in association with Walden Media.

The adaptation—described as a "midbudget," mostly live-action film—is slated for release some time in 2008. The novel, first published in 1942, is written as a series of letters between two demons, the elder Screwtape and his young nephew, Wormwood, with the seasoned demon offering his young protégé advice on undermining Christian faith and spreading wickedness.

Lewis' stepson, Douglas Gresham—who supervised the production of Wardrobe—will be producing alongside Winter.

Read Peter Chattaway's musings about this project here.

Passion of the Christ + Nativity Story = Myriam, Mother of the Christ

I'm a bit behind in reporting this, especially after my film critic friends Peter Chattaway and Matt Page jumped on this information first, but this article states that a new film is upcoming about Mary, the mother of Jesus. It's got the flavor of "Passion of the Christ," since it's penned by the same screenwriter, Benedict Fitzgerald, and reflects themes of "The Nativity Story," as the Holy Family returns to Nazareth after their exile in Egypt (a la Anne Rice's "Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt") as its sequel. It also releases around Easter 2008, in competition with the upcoming film, "The Resurrection." Hmmmmm.

MGM has acquired North American distribution rights to "Myriam, Mother of the Christ," the biblical story of Mary. The screenplay is written by Benedict Fitzgerald, who penned "The Passion of the Christ."

The film, slated to bow around Easter 2008, is a dramatic rendering of the key events in Mary's life leading up to the birth of Jesus and the holy family's journey from Egypt to Nazareth following the death of King Herod. The story is told from Mary's point of view as she gradually understands the unfolding of God's plan and responds to her calling. No director or cast is attached.

"We believe that a feature of this quality and pedigree will have an inherent appeal to many movie consumers in North America," MGM chief operating officer Rick Sands said. "The film has the potential to become a perennial favorite each holiday season."

MGM will work with its home entertainment partner, 20th Century Fox, on the film's DVD release. Fitzgerald and Richard Garzilli are producing "Myriam" alongside John Garbett and Erik Lomis. MGM executive vp business affairs Jonathan Bader negotiated the deal for the studio.