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Nick Alexander

The Resurrection

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060608/film_nm/jesus_dc_1

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Picking up where the biblical story of Jesus Christ's passion leaves off, Sony Pictures is angling for an Eastertime release of a feature film tentatively titled "The Resurrection," people familiar with the project confirmed Wednesday.

Using the Bible for its source material, "Resurrection" will tell the story of Jesus Christ beginning the day he died on the cross and ending about 40 days later with his ascension into heaven.

According to insiders, Sony's mid-budget Screen Gems division commissioned a script several months ago from Lionel Chetwynd, the veteran screenwriter, producer and director whose credits include the feature "The Hanoi Hilton" and the Emmy-nominated TV movie "Ike: Countdown to D-Day."

Set to produce is Tim LaHaye, co-author of the best-selling "Left Behind" series of books. A popular minister and frequent TV news pundit, "Resurrection" will mark LaHaye's first foray into mainstream filmmaking.

In mining biblical material, those behind the project hope to tap into the same vein that so richly rewarded Mel Gibson for his self-funded "The Passion of the Christ." The 2004 release earned $612 million in worldwide box office receipts, making it one of the 30 most-popular films of all time.

"'The Passion' ends with Jesus being taken from the cross, and 'The Resurrection' opens with the empty cross," a person familiar with the script said.

According to the Bible, women who visited the tomb of Jesus Christ three days after his crucifixion found it empty, and his disciples and other acquaintances, including Mary Magdalene, encountered him postresurrection on various occasions during a 40-day period.

The film will focus on these dramatic encounters and their implications for the Roman garrison in Judea and the broader Roman Empire, insiders said.

"This is not a fanciful rendering. It's a serious attempt to understand the Roman world in which Christ moved and the Christian era was born," a person familiar with the project said.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

I don't know.

Without Mel at the helm, and being Tim LaHaye's first foray into movie making, I must address that I am utterly skeptical and dismayed about its artistic merits and/or financial prospects. The Passion succeeded largely due to Mel Gibson's Catholic sensibilities, his deviations from formula (The Dolores Passion...), his familiarity with European religious art, and, oh, his twenty-plus Academy-Award winning years of cinematic experience.

BTW, who will Kirk Cameron play?

Edited by Nick Alexander

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BTW, who will Kirk Cameron play?

Mary Magdalene, I'm certain.

Why don't these people get it? We don't need the forty days and twelve or whatever verses that cover the empty cross to the resurrection. We've seen Neo ascend at the end of The Matrix, there's nothing new here except financial gain for everyone involved. Somebody tell these people that Judges is still waiting to be made. Judges has it all, man, and for that matter, so does Genesis. If Joseph isn't one of the greatest stories ever told, then what is? It's a story that brings tears to the eyes. And Samson. FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! With the jawbone of an ass, he killed 1000 Philistines. He got his eyes gouged out! He visited prostitutes and his downfall was brought about by the seduction of a woman. Just the Nazarite vow alone would be a great mystical quality to add to a film like that.

Or how about Acts? There are awesome stories there. The early church. The shipwreck.

When are these people going to wake up? Christ is a huge part of the Christian story. Certainly! But it's a story that began thousands of years before him and continues thousands of years after. Mel did the Jesus thing, and I'm on record as having been moved and loving it (I believe I had the first online review up, IIRC.) It's done, it has been done, move on to stories which are just as good, and which are a part of the larger story as well.

Get a clue, Holly Would!

-s.

Edited by stef

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Somebody tell these people that Judges is still waiting to be made. Judges has it all, man, and for that matter, so does Genesis. If Joseph isn't one of the greatest stories ever told, then what is? It's a story that brings tears to the eyes. And Samson. FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! With the jawbone of an ass, he killed 1000 Philistines. He got his eyes gouged out! He visited prostitutes and his downfall was brought about by the seduction of a woman. Just the Nazarite vow alone would be a great mystical quality to add to a film like that.

Stef, I love your devotion to the Judges story and am in total agreement, though if filmed, there must be at least passing reference to my favorite character in Judges - Shamgar, who killed 600 Philistines with an oxgoad. Man, I love that guy.

Oh, and the resurrection is cool too, but I'd rather see Shamgar, Samson, and Jael. Keep pushing it Stef, eventually someone will listen.

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Um, The Passion... did NOT end with Jesus being taken down. Jesus himself was the last person we saw, getting up and out of the tomb.

The media doesn't have to actually see what it chooses to martyr.

-s.

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I can't claim to be a theologian of any merit, but I don't remember there being a whole lot recorded of Jesus' 40 days of visitation before the ascension. Where Mel took liberties with The Passion, at least most of the events were accurate. With this concept all we have are snippets, a little dialogue here, a walk to Emmaus there, making breakfast, that sort of thing. It seems like this film would require conjecture just to be cohesive.

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Somebody tell these people that Judges is still waiting to be made. Judges has it all, man, and for that matter, so does Genesis. If Joseph isn't one of the greatest stories ever told, then what is? It's a story that brings tears to the eyes. And Samson. FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! With the jawbone of an ass, he killed 1000 Philistines. He got his eyes gouged out! He visited prostitutes and his downfall was brought about by the seduction of a woman. Just the Nazarite vow alone would be a great mystical quality to add to a film like that.

Or how about Acts? There are awesome stories there. The early church. The shipwreck.

-s.

I would like to see Maccabbees made into a movie. But I think we'll see more of these Passion-spin offs. The Nativity at least has the benefit of established talent in Hardwicke and Keisha Knight-Pullam. Whatever.

Never mind the fact that NOTHING traditionally dramatic happens during the 40 days in the biblical text--the disciples hide out and then go up to Galilee. I have a bad feeling this means we'll get to see lots of manufactured conflict between Pilate and Herod and the Sanhedrin. Bribery of soldiers! Conspiracy theories advanced! Roman Garrisons on High Alert! Spies tracking down the disciples! The women are disbelieved! (Well, the first two are in Matthew's account).

If you work in a church, get ready to hear from Grace Hill and get emails about the sermons you can preach, and please, please rent out a theatre and take your unsaved friends.

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I have a bad feeling this means we'll get to see lots of manufactured conflict between Pilate and Herod and the Sanhedrin. Bribery of soldiers! Conspiracy theories advanced! Roman Garrisons on High Alert! Spies tracking down the disciples! The women are disbelieved!

Mary Magdalene runs off to France to give birth! :D

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And just what the crap is an oxgoad anyway?

-s.

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And Samson. FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! With the jawbone of an ass, he killed 1000 Philistines. He got his eyes gouged out! He visited prostitutes and his downfall was brought about by the seduction of a woman. Just the Nazarite vow alone would be a great mystical quality to add to a film like that.

A Samson film...done correctly, could be BIGGER than "Braveheart"! I'd be yelling and clapping in the theatre like opening night of Star Wars Episode 3!!!

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Stef, I'm with you on the Joseph movie. In my opinion, it's the best feature-film-pitch in the Bible.

Um, The Passion... did NOT end with Jesus being taken down. Jesus himself was the last person we saw, getting up and out of the tomb.

Yeah. And it was the most lackluster and uninspired moment in the film.

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And just what the crap is an oxgoad anyway?

-s.

oxgoad \Ox"goad'\ n. A goad for driving oxen

Does that clear it up? Maybe I should add:

goad n. A Long stick with a pointed end used for prodding animals.

Jawbones are cool in their own right, and seeing a man kill 1000 philistines in the name of God would be a sight, but who in film history has ever done that kind of damage with an oxgoad? The ethical conundrums in these Judges stories are starting to get me excited about this project already.

Edited by John

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Reading this talk of jawbones and oxgoads, all I can think of is Steve Carrell in Anchorman.

Ron Burgundy: Boy, that escalated quickly... I mean, that really got out of hand fast!

Champ Kind: It jumped up a notch!

Ron Burgundy: It did, didn't it?

Brick Tamland: Yeah, I stabbed a man in the heart!

Ron Burgundy: I saw that! Brick killed a guy! Did you throw a trident?

Brick Tamland: Yeah, there were horses, and a man on fire, and I killed a guy with a trident!

Ron Burgundy: Brick, I've been meaning to talk to you about that. You should find yourself a safehouse or a relative close by. Lay low for a while, because you're probably wanted for murder.

Carry on . . .

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So...John is all excited at the prospect of seeing Philistines killed. And Darren is quoting the Ron Burgundy film.

Stef, what exactly have you done here?!

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Jawbones are cool in their own right, and seeing a man kill 1000 philistines in the name of God would be a sight, but who in film history has ever done that kind of damage with an oxgoad?

Jackie Chan.

or MacGuyver's evil non-pacifist twin.

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You Philistines - I've called all of my unsaved friends already...

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Link to the thread that cried out for Mel Gibson to make The Resurrection of the Christ. (If I had beaten Nick to the punch here, I might have posted the news in that thread. As it is, I was too busy crafting my blog post on this bit of news, looking for links and stuff.)

As I mention at my blog, the screenwriter assigned to this film has at least proved that he can write a decent Bible-movie script. But the stories of Joseph and Moses are inherently much more dramatic -- and have much more biblical source material to work with -- than the period between Christ's resurrection and ascension.

And I get a kick out of the fact that this is coming from the same studio that produced The Da Vinci Code and Left Behind III, both of which LaHaye hated, albeit for very different reasons. (I say "the same studio", and by that I mean Sony; however, it would be more accurate to say that this film is being developed by the Sony subsidiary Screen Gems, which had nothing to do with either of those films -- though they did produce The Exorcism of Emily Rose.)

I find it interesting that we now have two films in the works, one about the very beginning of Jesus' earthly sojourn and one about the very end, both of which will apparently be based on just a few chapters from the gospels (and will therefore have to ), and neither of which will be able to make any use of Mark (apart from a tiny detail involving an empty tomb, which appears in the other three gospels anyway).

Hollywood loves beginnings and endings. Now if only they could figure out the middle bits.

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Apparently not very far -- the release date has apparently been bumped a full year, to February 27, 2009.

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Apparently not very far -- the release date has apparently been bumped a full year, to February 27, 2009.

You know, if the writers decided to get really creative and go comic bookish, by basing this on the "harrowing of hell" ala the protoevangelism of James...the time between the crucifixion and the ressurection when Christ was supposedly defeating Satan in Hell. Could have some really cool hell scenes, so long as they don't go and get all Carmen-y on it. That might be worth seeing! :)

regards,

-Lance

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This might be the same movie that Tim LaHaye was working on. Or it might be something else entirely. I touch on some of the ambiguity and/or confusion in my current blog post on this story.

I would quote more of the Variety story below, but it's behind a paywall, so I can read it if I squint, but I can't copy-and-paste any of the actual text. One thing the article doesn't mention, BTW (though my blog post does), is that Bill McKay was a co-writer and producer on the Billy Graham biopic Billy: The Early Years, and he was openly talking about this Resurrection movie while he promoted that other one, way way back in October 2008.

- - -

'Resurrection' ahead

Hoping to replicate some of the box-office success of "The Passion of the Christ," indie producer Bill McKay is mounting "The Resurrection of the Christ," with a 10-week shoot starting in July.

Variety, January 18

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The LaHayes are now soliciting funds to make this movie, one $25 donation at a time. Shades of Bruce Marchiano's efforts to raise funds for his remake of The Gospel of John.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zp9jVBLJCD0

Gotta say, I like the jump cuts, or flash cuts, whatever you wanna call them -- especially the first one, which kind of comes out of nowhere right between the words "We believe that film" and "produced at the highest quality".

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"God's strategy is a viral marketing campaign..."

Perhaps it's the lateness of the hour, but that struck me as a very funny (or very frightening, depending on how one means "frightening") sentence.

Edited by NBooth

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Tim LaHaye @ Wall Street Journal:

. . . One of the most credible evidences for the reality of the Resurrection of Jesus is the very fact that we are even discussing the story of an uneducated Jewish man from the obscure city of Nazareth, who hung up his carpenter tools at the age of 30 to launch an itinerant preaching and healing ministry for three years in the equally unknown area of Galilee and was crucified for his efforts. Yet today we are celebrating His resurrection.

That is why at 85 years young I am driven to use the most powerful communication tool ever invented, movies, to have the Biblical story of ten post-resurrection appearances of Christ made into the first quality movie that tells the story as it really happened, faithfully recorded by eye witnesses. The working title is “The Resurrection,” and Lionel Chetwynd has been hired to write the script; my role is that of creator and senior producer. My prayer is that we may be able to release the movie to the public by pre-Easter of 2012.

Incidentally, LaHaye also says in his article that Mel Gibson's movie ended with "a brief view of the actor well dressed, indicating that Jesus’ death was just the beginning." Um, "well dressed"? In the movie *I* saw, Jesus was nude, just as he is in a number of Renaissance portraits of the risen Christ.

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This article was already linked in our thread on the Left Behind reboot, but, just for the record, let it be known that, according to an article in The Christian Post published February 21, Tim LaHaye is still "currently working to help raise funds for another film, 'The Resurrection of the Christ'..."

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