Noah news round-up: a Chinese ban and a popular name

Like most blockbusters these days, Noah has made a lot more money overseas than it has in North America — but simply getting the film released overseas has been more of a challenge than usual.

First it was banned in some (but not all) Muslim countries for dramatizing the life of one of the prophets. Then it was held back in the Philippines because of a legal battle between two distributors. And now it has been blocked by censors in China — the second-largest film market in the world — for being too religious.

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The Red Tent will look at Genesis from a female perspective

The new thing in Bible movies and similar productions? Telling familiar stories from a female point of view.

First CBS announced that it was going to produce an adaptation of The Dovekeepers, a book that looks at the Roman siege of Masada from the perspective of four Jewish women trapped inside that fortress.

Now comes word that the Lifetime network is going to produce The Red Tent, a two-part mini-series based on a novel by Anita Diamant that looks at the stories of Jacob and his son Joseph from the perspective of Jacob’s daughter and Joseph’s half-sister Dinah.

What’s more, it appears the mini-series will pay special attention to the relationship between Dinah and the four women who raised her: her mother Leah, her aunt Rachel, and her father’s concubines Bilhah and Zilpah.

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The BBC is now filming its own version of the Noah story

It seems like every time a Bible movie hits the big screen, the BBC does its own version of the story a few years later. The Passion of the Christ came out in 2004. The BBC aired The Passion in 2008. The Nativity Story came out in 2006. The BBC aired The Nativity in 2010.

So now, of course, with Darren Aronofsky’s Noah still in theatres around the world, the BBC is planning its own version of the Noah story, called The Ark — and instead of waiting four years to produce it, they have already started filming it.

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King Tut mini-series joins the ancient-Egypt parade

Yet another TV show about ancient Egypt is in the works. Deadline reports that Spike TV and Muse Entertainment are teaming up to produce Tut, a six-hour mini-series about Tutankhamun, the young Pharaoh who reigned in the 14th century BC, and whose tomb was discovered in 1922. The series will cover “Tut’s rise to power and his struggle to lead Egypt to glory, while his closest advisers, friends and lovers scheme for their own nefarious interests.” This series, which has apparently been in the works for several months, is one of a few ancient-Egypt shows that are currently in development, along with the Fox network’s Hieroglyph and Ridley Scott’s HBO series Pharaoh. Egypt-set big-screen movies like Exodus: Gods and Kings and Gods of Egypt are also currently shooting or in post-production, and King Tut himself had a small role in the recent DreamWorks cartoon Mr. Peabody and Sherman.

Box-office update: Spider-Man franchise posts arguably its lowest opening yet, God’s Not Dead is back in the top ten, Noah hits a new milestone or two, and more

Nothing too exciting to report at the box office this weekend.

As expected, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 had a big opening in North America this week, with an estimated $92 million — but that actually represents the smallest first weekend of any Spider-Man film that opened on a Friday, and the lowest end-of-first-Sunday gross of any film in this series. This, despite the addition of 3D surcharges and the like. (In both cases, the previous low was the $114.8 million that the original Spider-Man opened to in 2002 — which, at the time, was the biggest opening of any film ever.)

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I’m number two! I’m number two!

I haven’t done any blogging this week because my family and I have been busy moving to our new home. There is still quite a bit of unpacking to do, but the actual moving of stuff from Point A to Point B is just about done, and after spending all day yesterday loading and unloading boxes and furniture, I woke up this morning to discover a message from one of the editors at ChristianWeek to the effect that an article I wrote for them last year won a prize at the Canadian Church Press Awards last night.

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