Last Days in the Desert — starring Ewan McGregor as both Jesus and Satan — has been described as a story about fathers and sons. Two days ago, the first clip from the film showed Jesus meeting a father played by Ciaran Hinds. Now the second clip shows Jesus talking to the man’s son, who is played by Tye Sheridan.
Here is the clip, via IndieWire:
A few more interview pieces have popped up since the last update, too.
Religion News Service spoke to McGregor and writer-director Rodrigo Garcia:
Garcia had considered making “Last Days in the Desert” in Israel with Israeli actors speaking in Hebrew, he said. He’d considered making it in Mexico with Mexican actors speaking in Spanish.
But, he said, “There’s something that always comes ahead of whatever formula you have, which is who is going to play the role best?” After spending a holiday with McGregor and mutual friends over Christmas, Garcia said, he realized “he’s the guy.” . . .
And, Garcia said, “One of the most satisfying reactions we’re having from Christian audiences is that they feel this is a real flesh-and-blood guy who is Jesus.
“I’m not a great fan of those movies where you have this starry-eyed Jesus who barely seems human. And I also thought if he is in fact human, then the mission and the sacrifice are all the greater. If you are a god and only a god, then perhaps the Crucifixion is not that big a sacrifice. But if you’re half human, it’s a humongous sacrifice. So I just stuck to the human side, and so did Ewan.”
(Incidentally, the film was shot in California in the end, but Garcia did cast one Israeli actor in the film: Ayelet Zurer, who plays Hinds’s wife and Sheridan’s mother.)
At a recent screening of the film at a church in Los Angeles, the church’s reverend said that the character of Jesus had altered his feelings about the gospel. McGregor’s Jesus is empathetic, frustrated and often confused — not the infallible godhead we might imagine him to be.
When HuffPost relayed the reverend’s sentiments to McGregor, the actor let out a deep exhale and said he understood the responsibility that came with playing Jesus.
“You can’t approach something like that without being a little freaked out by the nature of it,” McGregor said. While he didn’t set out to satisfy everyone else’s expectations for the role, the actor said he tried to do justice to Christian theology.
“I’m very proud that people are responding to the Yeshua in this story in a way that makes them feel that it’s the Jesus they recognize from their own imaginings of him,” he told HuffPost. “That I’m very proud of.”
Meanwhile, Emmanuel Lubezki has posted another photo from the film’s set:
Check out earlier trailers and other videos here:
- The first trailer (March 24, 2016)
- The ‘Premiere Events’ trailer (April 11, 2016)
- The three-minute featurette (April 26, 2016)
- The four-and-a-half-minute featurette (April 28, 2016)
- The ‘Give Me a Hand’ clip (May 2, 2016)