Killing Jesus round-up: new photos, new interviews, and rumours of a swimsuit competition with the cast of A.D.

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Killing Jesus — the National Geographic Channel adaptation of the book by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard — had its world premiere at the Sun Valley Film Festival in Idaho last Saturday. I’ll have more to say about that in the near future. In the meantime, here’s a quick roundup of some of the stories about this film that have appeared over the last few weeks on other blogs and websites.

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Watch: The earliest known Bible movie still in existence

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Want to see a Jesus movie produced in the 19th century? My friend Matt Page has discovered that just such a film — or at least a ten-minute collection of footage from such a film — is available for download at the Library of Congress website.

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Our first look at Rodrigo Santoro as Jesus in Ben-Hur

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Timur Bekmambetov’s remake of Ben-Hur is now nearing the end of its second week of production, and the unofficial photos keep on coming. Last week we had pictures of Judah Ben-Hur, his girlfriend Esther and possibly one of the rebels who ends up crucified next to Jesus. This week’s batch includes our first pictures of Jesus himself, as played by Rodrigo Santoro. You can check ’em all out at the Daily Mail.

The Story of Judas premieres at the Berlinale

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Now here’s one I didn’t see coming. Only two weeks after Last Days in the Desert premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, here comes another unusual arthouse take on the gospels — this time from the point of view of Judas Iscariot.

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Last Days in the Desert: the Sundance round-up

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Last Days in the Desert, the low-budget film that stars Ewan McGregor as both Jesus and Satan, had its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival two nights ago, and the reviews so far have been pretty positive. The filmmakers were also there to discuss the film. What follows is a round-up of reviews and interviews from the festival.

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He played Xerxes in 300, now he’s Jesus in the new Ben-Hur

rodrigosantoroContinuing the trend whereby actors of Portuguese and/or Latin American descent play Jesus in movies produced by Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, The Hollywood Reporter revealed today that Brazilian actor Rodrigo Santoro has been cast as Jesus in Timur Bekmambetov’s upcoming remake of Ben-Hur, which Burnett and Downey are co-producing.

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