Should Bible movies be relegated to the Christian ghetto?

exodus-moses-ramses-2The soft opening for Exodus: Gods and Kings last week has prompted a number of think pieces, asking what Hollywood could do better the next time it turns to the Bible for source material.

One such piece appeared in Variety last Sunday, and it’s… problematic.

For starters, it almost seems to suggest that Hollywood should focus on making low-budget movies for the Christian ghetto, i.e. films like Son of God and God’s Not Dead, which cost very little to make and were thus profitable in the U.S. even though they earned almost nothing overseas.

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Watch: New promo for A.D. set to classic Christian song

A.D.Films like Clavius and TV specials like Killing Jesus might be in the works, but it’s probably safe to say that the most-hyped Bible-themed production of 2015 will be A.D., the follow-up to Mark Burnett and Roma Downey’s phenomenally successful The Bible.

They released a trailer for the new series last month. And now they’ve released a new promo set to the classic song ‘They’ll Know We Are Christians’ (which has been renamed ‘By Our Love’ for some reason), performed here by For King & Country.

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More pics from the Jesus/Satan film Last Days in the Desert

last-days-in-the-desert-ewan-mcgregor-hi-resNew photos from Last Days in the Desert, the indie film starring Ewan McGregor as both Jesus and Satan, went online today. They include logo-free versions of the McGregor photos that came out last week, as well as all-new photos of Ciarán Hinds, Ayelet Zurer and Tye Sheridan as the “family in crisis” that Jesus encounters near the end of his 40 days of temptation in the wilderness. Check ’em out below the jump.

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Laurence Fishburne to play Melchizedek in The Alchemist?

laurencefishburneI’ve been doing a lot of research into films based on the book of Genesis lately, so I was intrigued to hear, via The Tracking Board, that Laurence Fishburne may play Melchizedek in an adaptation of Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist, which Fishburne himself is slated to direct.

I haven’t read the book, which concerns a Spanish shepherd who goes to Egypt, so I have no idea how closely the book’s Melchizedek corresponds to the Melchizedek of the Bible. But Wikipedia says the book’s Melchizedek is “the king of Salem”, which fits. It also says he gives the book’s protagonist “the magical stones Urim and Thummim” and that he wears “a gold breastplate encrusted with precious stones” — both of which sound like something we would normally associate with the Israelite priesthood, which didn’t exist until long after the biblical Melchizedek’s time.

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Brad Pitt no longer attached to star in Pontius Pilate

troy-bradpittAlmost two years after it was first announced that Brad Pitt might star in a movie about Pontius Pilate for Warner Brothers, Deadline is reporting that neither Pitt nor Warner are attached to the project any more — but the film may still get made by one of the “several financiers” who are “chasing” it.

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Terrence Malick dips into the Gnostic Acts of Thomas

knightofcupsChristian Bale has already played Moses and Jesus. Might he now be playing the apostle Thomas as well?

Not literally, of course. Well, I assume not. But this week a trailer and synopsis were released for Terrence Malick’s Knight of Cups, which stars Bale, and the synopsis at least seems to hark back to an apocryphal text called the Acts of Thomas.

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