The Garden of Eden gets cameos in Noah and Son of God

I attended a preview screening of Son of God last week, and while it’s far too early to post a review of that film (it doesn’t open theatrically until February 28), producer Mark Burnett and the others who spoke at the screening were certainly keen to drum up interest in the film and its impending release; they asked everyone there to spread the word via social media, etc. So consider this blog post my small contribution.

One detail I did find interesting is the fact that the film begins with a montage that ties the story of Jesus to the stories in the Old Testament (using footage from the OT episodes of The Bible, of course). That means that this film begins, in part, with Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, just as Darren Aronofsky’s Noah will apparently do.

These two films are set to open in theatres only four weeks apart, so not only could we have two Bible epics playing in multiplexes simultaneously — which I’m guessing would have to be unprecedented, given that multiplex theatres didn’t really take off until after the Bible-epic fad of the ’50s and ’60s — but we could also have two movies that open with the Fall of Man playing in multiplexes simultaneously.

What other parallels might there be within the new wave of Bible films, I wonder.

(The image at the top of this post is from The Bible, while the image below it is from the recently released trailer for Noah. I can’t recall whether Son of God used the specific shot from The Bible that I’ve embedded here, but you get the basic idea.)

November 20 update: It occurs to me that this is only the second Jesus film I can think of that starts with an Old Testament prologue. The other is Roberto Rossellini’s The Messiah (1976), which opens with a sequence that emphasizes the prophet Samuel’s skepticism with regard to Israel’s demand for an earthly king; this then segues to the Herodian court of Mary and Joseph’s day. (My friend Matt Page discusses this in more detail here.) Are there any other examples?

About Peter T. Chattaway

Peter T. Chattaway was the regular film critic for BC Christian News from 1992 to 2011. In addition to his award-winning film column for that paper, his news and opinion pieces have appeared in such publications as Books & Culture, Christianity Today, Bible Review and the Vancouver Sun. He has also contributed essays to the books Re-Viewing The Passion: Mel Gibson’s Film and Its Critics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), Scandalizing Jesus?: Kazantzakis’s The Last Temptation of Christ Fifty Years on (Continuum, 2005) and The Bible in Motion: A Handbook of the Bible and Its Reception in Film (De Gruyter, 2016).