Newsbites: Of Kings and Prophets! Like a Virgin! The Young Messiah!

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The Ben-Hur release-date change isn’t the only Bible-movie news story that came my way today. Here are three more recent items on movies with a biblical hook:

1. Deadline reports that Belgian actor Louis Talpe has been tapped to play David’s big brother Eliab in the upcoming TV series Of Kings and Prophets.

The Bible tells us only three things about Eliab, as far as I can tell:

  • he was so tall and looked so impressive that the prophet Samuel assumed, falsely, that Eliab was the man God wanted Samuel to anoint as king (I Samuel 16);
  • he was a member of King Saul’s army and objected to David visiting the camp and meddling in things when Goliath taunted the Israelites (I Samuel 17); and
  • his daughter Abihail married David’s son Jerimoth, and their daughter Mahalath married David’s grandson (and Solomon’s son) Rehoboam (II Chronicles 11).

But the part of Eliab is described as a “season-long recurring role”, so it looks like this series may spend a little more time on David’s siblings than some other films do.

2. Deadline says Gemma Arterton will star in a movie called Like a Virgin:

The story follows the character of Mary, who is visited by the Angel Gabriel while off her head following a night out. Gabriel tells her that she has been chosen by God to give birth to the next Messiah. The film looks at what happens when a girl who isn’t ready to grow up is chosen to save the world?

Sounds like they’re setting the story of the Nativity in the present day, then?

Note, also, how Mary’s child is called “the next Messiah,” which would seem to imply that there has been a series of them. It reminds me of how a lot of apocalyptic movies — from The Final Conflict to Bless the Child — have made the assumption that the Second Coming will be just like the first. Which is nonsense, theologically.

3. Focus Features (via ComingSoon.net) has released a poster and a new still for The Young Messiah, which comes to theatres March 11, 2016:

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