Chris Columbus wrote Gremlins and The Goonies and went on to direct such hit films as the first two Home Alone movies and the first two Harry Potter movies (he also produced the third). More recently, he has produced relatively low-budget films such as critically-acclaimed horror film The Witch and, now, The Young Messiah.
What follows is a round-up of the interviews that he has done to promote The Young Messiah, which is based on Anne Rice’s novel Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt.
Columbus was quoted in a New York Daily News article on “faith-based” films:
“There are great stories in the Bible, whether it’s the Old or New Testament,” says “The Young Messiah” producer Chris Columbus, who is best known as the director of the first two “Harry Potter” movies. . . .
For the Catholic-raised Columbus, it’s a calling he’s felt since he first watched the sweeping biblical epics of the 1950s and ’60s, including “The Ten Commandments” and “The Greatest Story Ever Told.”
“It was always in my head back since film school that I would love to someday do a movie about Jesus, who is depicted as a charming, mesmerizing person who was a leader of these people,” Columbus says. . . .
Columbus says the key to not offending with “The Young Messiah” was to enlist an adviser from the Vatican for approval.
CNBC asked Columbus if it was hard to get funding for a “conservative” film, and he told them The Young Messiah is “not that conservative”:
Columbus talked to Fox News about consulting with theologians:
And he talked to Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb about the movie on Today:
March 10 update: Columbus also spoke to AOL Build in New York City:
March 12 update: Columbus talked to Metro about his own interest in the story of Jesus, going back to his college years and even earlier:
Columbus says he’s always been fascinated by Jesus. Along with 12 years of Catholic school, he was in college during the period, in the early 1970s, when Christ was absorbed by a certain hippie faction. It was the time of rock operas like “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Godspell.”
“He was like a rock star,” he remembers.
He was also fascinated with him growing up. “Imagine me as a kid reading Marvel comics and being taught about Jesus. It was like he was almost part of the same world, a little bit, only he’s the best one,” he says. “He was like the first superhero.” . . .
When filmmaker Cyrus Nowrasteh (“The Stoning of Sorya M.”) brought Rice’s book to him, he got really excited, even though it wasn’t the big, sprawling, life-spanning Jesus movie he’d always hoped for. (He says he’ll probably be the one to make that.)
“It was interesting to tell a story that didn’t really exist in the scriptures, and imagine a situation where Jesus I trying to understand who he is and why he has these abilities,” he says. “I can’t deny that didn’t somehow appeal to my love of superheroes. It felt like it was in that vein.”
He also spoke to Fox 411 …
… and to Studio10 in Alabama:
March 15 update: Columbus also spoke to uInterview: