The Young Messiah — a round-up of my top posts


The Young Messiah is out on Digital HD today, so here is a round-up of my top stories on that film, which tells the story of Jesus and his family when he is seven years old.

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The Young Messiah: a scene guide (w/ clips and references to the scriptures, the apocryphal texts, and the novel)


Last month I wrote up a scene guide for Risen, noting which scriptures different parts of the movie were based on. Now it’s The Young Messiah’s turn — and this time, matters are complicated by the fact that the film is based not directly on the Bible, but on Anne Rice’s novel Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt, which in turn makes use of Old and New Testament apocrypha in addition to the scriptures.

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Review: The Young Messiah (dir. Cyrus Nowrasteh, 2016)


There have been many movies about Jesus, and even a few that have spent some time on his childhood, but there have been none, to my knowledge, that dwell on what it would have been like for Jesus to grow up with brothers and sisters his own age. Indeed, there are very few films that acknowledge the presence of brothers and sisters in Jesus’ adult life, even though the gospels mention his siblings on several occasions. Thus, one of the best things about The Young Messiah — Cyrus Nowrasteh’s long-awaited adaptation of Anne Rice’s novel Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt — is the way it focuses on Jesus’ relatives right from its opening scene.

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Interview: Cyrus Nowrasteh (The Young Messiah, 2016)


It’s been a long, rocky road to the big screen for The Young Messiah, but at last, it’s here.

The film is based on a 2005 novel called Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt, which takes place when Jesus is seven years old and his family is returning to Nazareth from Egypt. It was written by Anne Rice — best known for her vampire novels — after she returned to the Catholic church. An early attempt to make a film based on the novel fell apart in 2007, and Rice herself publicly quit Christianity in 2010, though she said she still follows Christ.

The book’s film prospects turned a corner when Rice wrote a glowing review of The Stoning of Soraya M., a 2009 movie about the treatment of women in Iran that was directed by Cyrus Nowrasteh, an American of Persian descent. Nowrasteh acquired the rights to Rice’s book, wrote a script with his wife Betsy Giffen Nowrasteh, and got Harry Potter director Chris Columbus to come on board as a producer. The film comes out March 11.

I spoke to Cyrus Nowrasteh about creating new characters for the film, the tricky nature of movie ratings, the role the film played in his own journey towards Christian faith, and the possibility of a sequel. The interview below has been edited slightly for length and clarity.

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Anne Rice is “very thankful” for The Young Messiah


The Young Messiah comes to theatres this Friday, and I’ll be posting lots of stuff about that all week, including an interview with the film’s director. In the meantime, Anne Rice — whose novel Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt was the basis for the film — has written a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter in which she explains why she wrote the book, and how she feels about the film. Spoiler alert: she likes it.

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Watch: A Nativity-themed clip from The Young Messiah


The first clip from The Young Messiah is here — and, since Christmas is only two days away, the clip in question naturally depicts a scene from the story of Jesus’ birth.

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