Exclusive: My interview with Killing Jesus star Haaz Sleiman, plus a mini-review of the film

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A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending the world premiere of Killing Jesus at the Sun Valley Film Festival and speaking to Haaz Sleiman, the actor who plays Jesus. We had met before when I visited the set last year, but back then he still had certain crucial scenes to film, including the crucifixion, whereas when I spoke to him in Sun Valley, he and I had both just seen the completed film for the first time.

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Watch: Character profiles, behind-the-scenes footage, ads, endorsements and more from A.D.: The Bible Continues

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With two weeks to go before the series premieres on April 5, the makers of A.D.: The Bible Continues are releasing more and more videos, including clips from the show and endorsements from church leaders. Check ’em out below the jump.

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Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt to star Sean Bean and more

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It has been two months since I last wrote about Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt, the film adaptation of Anne Rice’s novel about Jesus’ childhood. At that time, the studio behind the film had announced a release date but no cast members. Today, however, a colleague tipped me off to the fact that the film’s IMDb page now lists 20 actors, and at least one of them is fairly well-known: Lord of the Rings co-star Sean Bean.

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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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The Magnificat, and the politics thereof, in film

vlcsnap-2014-12-25-18h31m18s119Christ is born! Glorify him!

Fred Clark posted a really interesting item this morning, noting that “the true meaning of Christmas” can be found in a poem spoken by Mary not long after she learned that she was pregnant with the Son of God — and he notes that the poem in question has a significant political edge, in which the powerful are brought down from their thrones while the humble are lifted up, and the rich are sent away hungry while the poor are filled.

This got me curious as to how many films have actually reflected the edgier aspects of this poem, which is known as the Magnificat. And the answer is: not many. In fact, there are very few films that incorporate the Magnificat at all, and those that do usually cut out the more politically-charged stuff. Usually, but not always.

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Our first look at the cast for The Bible follow-up series A.D.

ad-jesusAt last, we know who some (but not all) of the actors will be in A.D., the NBC series that Mark Burnett and Roma Downey are producing as a follow-up to their hit miniseries The Bible.

First, People reveals that Jesus will be played by Argentinian actor Juan Pablo di Pace, and, just as Diogo Morgado’s Jesus in The Bible quickly earned the nickname “Hot Jesus”, so too People notes that di Pace is “easy-on-the-eyes”.

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