Newsbites: The biblical epic edition!

Just a few quick items with a biblical connection of some sort.

1. At last, Mervyn LeRoy’s adaptation of Quo Vadis (1951), starring Deborah Kerr and Peter Ustinov, is going to get a proper release on DVD — and on Blu-Ray, too. The Warner Home Video press release indicates the film will come with all the usual bonus features, and while the two-disc DVD is due to come out in November, the Blu-Ray will not be available until just before Easter.

2. The Associated Press says Eric Idle is bringing Not the Messiah, his musical adaptation of Monty Python’s Life of Brian (1979), to the United States for a limited run.

In related news, Matt Page noted yesterday that Sue Jones-Davies, who played the romantic lead in Life of Brian, is now the Mayor of Aberystwyth in Wales and recently commented on the fact that Life of Brian is still banned in that region, almost 30 years after the film came out.

3. The Associated Press reports that Benedict Fitzgerald, who co-wrote The Passion of the Christ (2004), has filed a “rewrite” of his lawsuit against Mel Gibson for a share of the film’s profits.

4. The Independent says it looks increasingly likely that the sequels to The Golden Compass (2007) will never be made, not least since no one has talked to author Philip Pullman about making them — whereas during the making of the earlier film, he was consulted quite frequently. I know, I know, these are not quite biblical movies per se, but if the sequels followed the books they would certainly feature biblical characters.

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).


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