Clavius gets a new title — Risen — and a release date!

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Clavius has come full circle.

The film, which stars Joseph Fiennes as a Roman officer who goes looking for the body of Jesus, seems to have grown out of a project that began eight years ago under the title Risen: The Story of the First Easter. Two years ago, the film was called Resurrection, and then, last year, it became Clavius. And now, according to a press release that arrived in my inbox today, the film is called Risen again.

More significantly, the film now has a distributor and a release date.

The distributor is Sony Pictures Entertainment, which will handle the film through its TriStar and Affirm divisions — outfits that have already had some success producing and/or distributing films for the “faith-based” market (Heaven Is for Real, etc.).

And the release date is January 22, 2016, which is only five weeks before the February 26 release of Ben-Hur and seven weeks before the March 11 release of Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt. Interestingly, the three films, seen in that order, would cover the life of Jesus in reverse, from his resurrection to his ministry to his childhood.

The timing of this announcement is particularly interesting. Just yesterday it was announced that Warner Brothers is developing a movie about the apostle Paul starring Hugh Jackman, and both of these announcements came mere days before the premiere of A.D.: The Bible Continues, which will also deal with the ministry of Paul and, reportedly, with the authorities’ search for the missing body of Jesus.

There has been a lot of buzz around A.D. leading up to its premiere, and one gets the impression that the makers of these films want to be part of that conversation.

Here is the press release, with links to my earlier posts on the film’s cast and crew:

TRISTAR PICTURES AND LD ENTERTAINMENT IN ASSOCIATION WITH AFFIRM FILMS TO RELEASE EPIC ACTION DRAMA “RISEN” ON JANUARY 22, 2016

CULVER CITY, CA (April 1, 2015) – Sony Pictures Entertainment’s TriStar Pictures in association with AFFIRM Films announced that they have acquired worldwide rights from LD Entertainment on the film “Risen” (formerly titled “Clavius”) and will release the film in association with LD Entertainment.  Starring Joseph Fiennes (Shakespeare in Love), Tom Felton (Harry Potter), Peter Firth (“Spooks”) and Cliff Curtis (Live Free or Die Hard), and directed by Kevin Reynolds (Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves), the action drama will be released in theaters nationwide on Friday, January 22, 2016.

“Risen” is the epic Biblical story of the Resurrection and the weeks that followed, as seen through the eyes of an unbelieving Clavius (Joseph Fiennes), a high-ranking Roman Military Tribune. Clavius and his aide Lucius (Tom Felton) are instructed by Pontius Pilate to ensure Jesus’ radical followers don’t steal his body and claim resurrection. When the body goes missing within days, Clavius sets out on a mission to locate the missing body in order to disprove the rumors of a risen Messiah and prevent an uprising in Jerusalem.

“Risen” is produced by Mickey Liddell (The Grey), Patrick Aiello (As Above, So Below), and Pete Shilaimon (In Secret), and executive produced by Robert Huberman and Scott Holroyd.

The creative production team includes Director of Photography, Lorenzo Senatore; Visual Effects Supervisor, Rafa Solorzano; Production Designer, Stefano Maria Ortolani; Editor, Steven Mirkovich, ACE; Costume Designer, Onelio Millenotti; and music by Roque Banos.

The image at the top of this post comes from one of the multiple images that co-star Tom Felton has posted to his Instagram account from the set of the film.

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