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

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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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Interview: Cyrus Nowrasteh (The Young Messiah, 2016)

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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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Review: A Child Called Jesus (dir. Franco Rossi, 1987)

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The Young Messiah — which comes out this Friday — isn’t the first film to focus on the early childhood of Jesus. Nearly 30 years ago, an Italian filmmaker named Franco Rossi directed a two-part TV-movie called Un bambino di nome Gesù (a.k.a. A Child Called Jesus), and it’s striking to see how much the two films have in common.

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A new movie about Jesus’ temptation premieres tomorrow

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Here’s a quick news item: A film called 40 Nights, which concerns the time that Jesus spent in the wilderness after his baptism, is premiering in Michigan tomorrow.

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How many Star Wars actors have also been in Bible movies?

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If you’re a Bible-movie buff and a space-movie buff like me, then you can’t help but notice how the two genres sometimes overlap.

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Watch: A Nativity-themed clip from The Young Messiah

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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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