Another TV show on the “lost years” of Jesus in the works

All three of this year’s Bible movies have a Gladiator connection. Exodus: Gods and Kings has that film’s director, Ridley Scott. Noah has that film’s star, Russell Crowe, and one of its screenwriters, John Logan. And Son of God — or, rather, its predecessor mini-series The Bible — marked the first time that composer Hans Zimmer and vocalist Lisa Gerrard had worked together since that film.

Now one of Gladiator’s other screenwriters is dipping his toe in the biblical waters, albeit for the small screen. Deadline and The Hollywood Reporter say David Franzoni is developing a mini-series for Fox called Nazareth, which will look at “the formative years of Jesus of Nazareth.” (One cannot help but be reminded of similar early-years series named after the protagonists’ hometowns like Smallville and Gotham.)

This would be at least the second TV production about the “lost years” of Jesus in development right now, following Lifetime’s The One. The History Channel also briefly considered a series called The Lost Years that would have depicted the young Jesus as an exorcist, but they seem to have abandoned that idea now.

Anne Rice has also been trying to get a film version of her book Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt made for years. As of ten months ago, FilmDistrict had bought the American distribution rights and said it hoped to release the film in March 2015 — but that’s less than a year from now and as far as I know the film has not actually been made yet.

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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