Skip to comments.Hollywood puts its faith in holy films
Posted on 04/22/2006 11:06:02 PM PDT by Pikamax
Hollywood puts its faith in holy films John Harlow, Los Angeles
HOLLYWOOD, long accused of promoting Godless amorality, has found religion. Studio executives are praying that a flood of Christian films will rescue them from a slump by performing miracles at the multiplex.
Inspired by The Passion of the Christ, Mel Gibsons vision of the crucifixion, which earned £400m at the box office, Hollywood is directing Oscar-winning stars such as Hilary Swank and William Hurt to show their spiritual side on screen.
First into the cinemas will be The Da Vinci Code, starring Tom Hanks and Audrey Tatou, due for release next month. Some Catholics, upset by the plot of Dan Browns novel about Vatican conspiracies, are threatening to picket the film.
Other Christian-themed films due out later this year are more likely to suit their tastes. Adewale Akinnouye-Agbaje, a London-born actor who plays Eko in the television series Lost, will play a charismatic minister winning over Harlem gangsters in Preaching to the Choir.
Hurt will be seen this summer as an equally inspired minister trying to hold his flock and family together in The King. James Marsh, the director, said he wanted to get away from stale portraits of priests as hypocrites or fanatics and show how tough it is to lead a good life.
The same issue is addressed in The Reaping, in which Swank, returning to the big screen after winning her second Oscar for Million Dollar Baby, plays a disillusioned missionary investigating a series of plagues in Louisiana that seem straight out of the Old Testament.
A potential Christmas blockbuster is Nativity. The 16-year-old Australian actress Keisha Castle-Hughes, nominated for an Oscar for Whale Rider three years ago, portrays the Virgin Mary travelling to Bethlehem for the birth of Jesus.
JJ Abrams, who created Lost, the series in which spiritual questions often arise, believes religion is highly topical. Given all the conflict in the world inflamed by religion there is a real hunger for films that deal with these issues in fresh ways, he said.
For the first time in half a century, studios are test-screening films in front of religious leaders rather than teenagers. They are also paying pastors and rabbis as consultants.
Studios are reaching out to grassroots community leaders to discuss films even before the script is finished: this would not have happened a few years ago, said a former executive at Grace Hill Media, which specialises in connecting Hollywood with religious leaders.
Some films nevertheless challenge the evangelical tide. New Line studio snapped up His Dark Materials, the fantasy trilogy by the Oxford writer Philip Pullman, thinking it was the next Harry Potter. But Christians took umbrage at its depiction of an ageing and feeble God.
Tom Stoppards script was described as heretical and the original director, Chris Weitz, who co-directed About a Boy, resigned after admitting he had removed negative references to God and the Catholic Church.
A Hollywood remake of the British cult film The Wicker Man remains in the balance as scriptwriters seek to modernise the film. In the 1973 version Scottish pagans triumph over Christianity, but the remake, starring Nicolas Cage, has to avoid offending 75m Americans who describe themselves as born again.
No such finessing was needed for a reality series that premiered on American television last week. Called Girl or God, it follows would-be priests preparing to end relationships and enter seminary. They wanted to call it Original Sin, but discovered that was the title of an erotic thriller starring Anglina Jolie.
would any monies made with such ventures be considered false 'profits'?
Hollywood wants to reap profits from successful religious movies, and then banks on a film that floats a fantasy about Jesus being married and fathering children. What a crock.
When they start doing pro-life films like my 'Evil Interrupted', then I'll believe they've gotten the message. At present it appears they are just trolling at the fringes still governed by their secular humanist, pro-homosexual- pro-'any-religion-will-do' so long as the sheeple buy tickets mindset.
The problem with Hollywood is that their lump all things with "religion-themes" into movies and hope for another Passion or Narnia. As long as it has Jesus, or an angel, or a missionary, it is enough for them to call a movie 'religious movie'. Nevermind that their movies are actually offending religious people. Their tendency to 're-interpret' everything and make 'old stories new' surely is not helping either.
their -- they
Not a surprise.
Hollywood has become a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah.
We;re better off with these perverts staying clear of religion. And I wonder what kind of "clerics" they are using to screen their productions.
As usual Hollywood shows how stupid they think we are. They mistakenly believe more of "the common people" will financially support a movie if its presented as "religious" from a bunch that is mostly anti religion. Not counting of course scientology or islam. Im spending more money on buying up old classic movies on tape and DVD than I have in a theater in years.
Audrey Tautou (The Da Vinci Code) is one of my favorite French actresses. She was excellent in "Amelie." But you have to like weird french flicks.
I like religious movies like "Ben Hur" and "The Ten Commandments." Movies with biblical battles and romances. I don't go to the movies anyway. I wait and get the DVD, if I want to see something.
From what we've seen and heard from "religious leaders," lately, this could ensure that there is not going to be any Biblical truth in these films.
Could you imagine the apostate William Sloan Coffin (RIP) actually espousing a truly Christian message?
Where there's a will there's a way ...
Hollywood is always re-inventing.
But before you knock it, remember that Holywood has spread, more than anything or anyone else, the essence of America.
And Hollywood films consistently run a profit, not a deficit, in US trade. No one else can say that.
Which is blatant heresy and fiction. What a joke.
The Da Vinci Code IS heresy, and not even close to reality.
I'm not going to explain -- don't care that much OR don't like long theological explanations -- but i assure you, as the movie opens, you WILL hear.
Interesting - by the way, has anyone heard protest and anger over the profits of film and recording industries? Seems to me that these groups of businesses are never included under the term "Bad Corporations."