The gospels are now complete!

Don’t know if it comes through, but I’m going for a Star Wars style “the saga is now complete” tone with that title there.

Anyway, in all my years of trawling the internet, I have come across only one person whose enthusiasm for film adaptations of the Bible rivals my own, and that is Matt Page.

So thanks to Matt for tipping me off to the fact that a teaser for the Visual Bible’s Gospel of Mark is now available here — you have to wait until the front page finishes loading, and then you have to click on “video clips” and wait until that screen finishes loading, but the teaser is there, just waiting to be found.

Interestingly, as Matt notes, the filmmakers appear to be going back to actor Henry Cusick and narrator Christopher Plummer, who both worked on The Gospel of John, and if so, this would appear to mark the first time since the 1950s that an actor has played Jesus twice (assuming we don’t count Bruce Marchiano’s cameo in the Visual Bible’s Acts, following his starring role in their Gospel according to Matthew) (my reviews). It’s a shame, in a way, because each gospel has its own character, and it might be good to heighten the differences in emphasis between the gospels by casting different actors and using different voices.

Another interesting question is how this film will deal with the multiple endings of Mark — which manuscript will it run with? Of course, word-for-word adaptations of any biblical text have to deal with these issues, when there are variations in words here or there; it’s just rare that you find variations in entire passages. (Incidentally, that famous incident with the adulterous woman in John 7:53-8:11 actually appears in a few different places — not just in John but also in Luke! — depending on the manuscript.)

And why do I say “the gospels are now complete”? Because Mark is the last to be given the word-for-word treatment. In addition to the Visual Bible’s adaptations of Matthew and John, there was also the Genesis Project’s adaptation of Luke in the 1970s, which was condensed into what is now widely-known as “the Jesus film.”

About Peter T. Chattaway

Peter T. Chattaway was the regular film critic for BC Christian News from 1992 to 2011. In addition to his film column, which won multiple awards from the Evangelical Press Association, the Canadian Church Press and the Fellowship of Christian Newspapers, his news and opinion pieces have appeared in such publications as Books & Culture, Christianity Today, Bible Review and the Vancouver Sun. He also contributed essays to the books Re-Viewing The Passion: Mel Gibson’s Film and Its Critics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004) and Scandalizing Jesus?: Kazantzakis’s The Last Temptation of Christ Fifty Years on (Continuum, 2005).

  • http://www.emmausroadtrip.org Robert Cataldo

    Hi Peter,

    Thanks so much for this info. on “The Gospel of Mark” Visual Bible flick, as I’d been waiting to hear news on this for quite some time-any more recent updates?

    Thanks again!

    Robert Cataldo

  • Anonymous

    What ever happened to this movie? Is it available anywhere?

  • Anonymous

    Why is this movie unavailable?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15411152395819469453 Marie

    Hi Peter,

    I’m searching in vain for “The Gospel of Mark”. We just watched “John” and it was excellent – the link you posted takes you to the Visual Bible’s page for John. Where is Mark??

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03186745908405067327 Scott

    I went to link you stated for the trailer for the Gospel of Mark. Clicked on view clips. And it read error in another window. maybe it was taken off. Have been waiting to see this one. Gospel of John was well done and enjoyed. So waht now with no trailier and maybe no film to be relaesed.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Peter,

    Appreciate the info but looks like "The Gospel of Mark" isn't available. Any updates on what happened to it?

    Thanks.

    Natalie