Bible-based Movies: an Evolution!

by Dick Rolfe

(Movies containing Dove reviews are linked below)

Dick_RolfeSon of God movie opened on February 28th as the second highest grossing film of the weekend. The complete story of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ had a spectacular opening weekend! It appeared on 3260 movie screens and grossed $26.5 million at the U.S. box office, close behind the Liam Neeson action flick, Non-Stop.

But wait! There’s more…lots more bible-based movies.

March 21st God’s Not Dead will be released in select theaters. Kevin Sorbo (TV’s Hercules, What If, Soul Surfer) stars as an atheist Philosophy professor who debates with a Christian student about the existence of God.

March 28th Noah will open starring Russell Crowe. The film met with controversy over reports that the story was anti-biblical. The National Religious Broadcasters came out with a tempered endorsement in exchange for a commitment from Paramount Pictures to add a disclaimer at the beginning of the film. It states that while the director employed artistic license in making the movie, it is fundamentally “true to the essence, values, and integrity of a story that is a cornerstone of faith for millions of people worldwide.” Adding, “The biblical story of Noah can be found in the book of Genesis.”

April 16th will feature Heaven is for Real, a film based on a New York Times best-seller starring Greg Kinnear. It’s about a real-life couple whose son claims to have visited Heaven during a near-death experience.

In June, we can expect to see a remake of the end-of-days drama Left Behind starring Nicolas Cage as airline captain Rayford Steel. And in December, Exodus, a remake of The Ten Commandments starring Christian Bale as Moses will be in a theater near you. There is a rumor of a remake of Ben Hur on the drawing board.

Even into 2015 more religious films are scheduled. They include Mary, the Mother of Christ, and a Cain and Able movie produced by Will Smith, and a Pontius Pilate picture starring Brad Pitt.

Hollywood is migrating from superhero comic characters to true-to-life characters from the Holy Scriptures. It’s not about religion; it’s about following winning formulas. No one ever accused studio executives of being original thinkers.