A few months ago, I took out a library copy of Anne Rice’s Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt, mainly to see what sort of material the filmmakers hired by George Barna’s Good News Holdings would be working with. I have only read about two-thirds of it so far, but I was pretty impressed with the book and its mixture of canonical, traditional and apocryphal material; I was also impressed by Rice’s testimony and her commitment to the historical study of Jesus and his times. And while I would love to see a good film based on this book, I figured it would be a real shame if Rice’s book were turned into just another run-of-the-mill “Christian movie”.
Fortunately, it now looks like that won’t happen — at least not yet. CT Movies reports that the plug has been pulled on this film:
GNH president and CEO Christopher Chisholm told CT Moves that “several things came up about Christ the Lord,” including “creative differences” involving the “budget, director and talent.” Chisholm said, “We had an amicable parting of ways, and we decided to release all our rights to Christ the Lord.”
Chisholm added that “some people were worried that we were leading with a movie that was based on the Apocrypha.” Rice’s novel, the first of a series she is writing about Christ, focuses on Jesus at the age of 7, drawing from the Apocrypha and other noncanonical sources. The second book in the series, The Road to Cana, will be published in the spring of 2008.
“The rights to both books are available,” Rice told CT Movies. “I hope some day we will see films based on these books. I’m in no rush, however, as I am at work on a third book in the series. But there is no more I can say about the situation with Good News Holdings.”
I wonder what has become of other recently announced projects, like Benedict Fitzgerald’s Myriam, Mother of the Christ, Tim LaHaye’s The Resurrection, Roland Pellegrino’s The Sword of Peter and Hyde Park’s Risen: The Story of the First Easter.