Watch: The first trailer for Risen, formerly known as Clavius

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The trailer for Risen, the film formerly known as Clavius, is here! And, in addition to confirming that Cliff Curtis is playing Jesus, it also lets us know that Jesus will be called “Yeshua” in this film — just as he was in Last Days in the Desert — and it even gives a nod to the Shroud of Turin. Check it out below the jump.

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Clavius gets a new title — Risen — and a release date!

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Clavius has come full circle.

The film, which stars Joseph Fiennes as a Roman officer who goes looking for the body of Jesus, seems to have grown out of a project that began eight years ago under the title Risen: The Story of the First Easter. Two years ago, the film was called Resurrection, and then, last year, it became Clavius. And now, according to a press release that arrived in my inbox today, the film is called Risen again.

More significantly, the film now has a distributor and a release date.

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Newsbites: Noah! Christ the Lord! Nazareth! A.D.! Clavius!

vlcsnap-2014-10-03-16h10m29s238Happy Monday. Here’s a round-up of recent Bible-movie news (with pictures!) to help you start the week.

1. Darren Aronofsky, whose films have received serious Oscar buzz more often than not (Requiem for a Dream, The Wrestler and Black Swan were all nominated for their acting, among other things, and the last of those films actually won), is still doing what he can to keep Noah on the Academy’s mind.

Last week he spoke to Variety about the excellent work that cinematographer Matthew Libatique, production designer Mark Friedberg, editor Andrew Weisblum, visual effects supervisor Dan Schrecker, composer Clint Mansell and, of course, Patti Smith contributed to the film; and tonight, Aronofsky and Smith will be hosting a screening of the film at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York.

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Newsbites: Women of the Bible! Ben-Hur! Noah! Clavius!

redtent-rt_061114_da_0142oIt’s been a big week for Bible-movie news. Here are a few of the highlights.

1. The Lifetime Network announced that Mark Burnett and Roma Downey are producing a two-hour special for them called The Women of the Bible, featuring interviews with famous pastors’ wives (Kay Warren, Victoria Osteen) and others who will tell the stories of Eve, Sarah, Rahab, Mary Magdalene and the Virgin Mary. The special will air right before the premiere of the two-part miniseries The Red Tent on December 7.

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Will Clavius take place before or after the Resurrection?

clavius-10706941_381790278635237_2001742680_nTom Felton hasn’t posted any photos from the set of Clavius lately, but he did talk about the movie while attending the BFI London Film Festival last week.

Red Carpet News posted a video of their exchange with him, which you can watch after the jump. The gist of it, though, is that Felton confirms he is playing a Roman, and one who is apparently rather pampered, at that, and who finds himself adjusting to his current assignment in Judea with some difficulty.

However, Felton also says that the film is “a telling of the crucifixion”, and that his character is thrust “into the midst of the trial and crucifixion of Jesus Christ.”

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Newsbites: A.D. and The Dovekeepers start production, the political uses of Noah, and more Clavius pictures

ad-twitter-011. It’s been a busy last couple of weeks for Mark Burnett and Roma Downey. Two Mondays ago, they joined forces with MGM to revive the United Artists brand, but they were unavailable for comment at the time because — as we now know from the picture to the right, which was posted to the brand-new A.D. Twitter account yesterday — that was the very same day on which they started shooting the first season of A.D., their follow-up to The Bible, in Morocco.

Burnett did eventually grant a phone interview to Variety to discuss the MGM deal. But he didn’t say anything much about A.D. and, bizarrely, the series does not seem to have an IMDb page yet, so I have no idea who has actually been cast in it or which characters it will focus on. But I’ll keep an eye open for such information and pass it along when I find it.

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