Jesus will be on the big screen in at least two movies next year, and if you want to get a sense of what he will look like, we now have new pictures from both films.
New pictures: Aviv Alush as Jesus in The Shack, Joaquin Phoenix as Jesus with Rooney Mara in Mary Magdalene
Paul Verhoeven — the man behind such sci-fi hits as RoboCop and Starship Troopers, plus such sexually charged films as Basic Instinct and Showgirls — has been talking about making a movie about Jesus for almost thirty years now, ever since he first attended a meeting of the Jesus Seminar in 1988. The subject came up again this week when Verhoeven — whose subversive critical hit Elle gets a limited release in U.S. theatres today — spoke to ComingSoon.net to promote his newest film.
There have been quite a few movies about Jesus this year, and the genre shows no signs of letting up. Next year will bring us The Star and Mary Magdalene, both of which are set in the first century — but first it will bring us The Shack, an adaptation of William P. Young’s novel, set in the present day, about a grief-stricken father who is met by all three persons of the Trinity, including God the Son, i.e. Jesus.
Next year marks the 40th anniversary of Franco Zeffirelli’s Jesus of Nazareth — still regarded by many as one of the best Jesus films ever made — and to celebrate this milestone, the Smithsonian Channel has announced that it will air a new documentary series featuring scenes from the film and brand-new footage of its star Robert Powell touring the Holy Land and talking to scholars about the historical Jesus.
If the “virtual reality” Jesus movie is full of distractions, can it still help pastors teach and evangelize?
Except for a few shows that are well within my wheelhouse, I don’t follow TV very closely, but it looks like I might have to pay attention to American Gods, the upcoming Starz series based on Neil Gaiman’s award-winning novel. Entertainment Weekly reports that Jeremy Davies, of Lost and Justified fame, has been cast as Jesus.