The old adage of “if you can’t beat them, join them” may be coming to fruition concerning Hollywood’s long term antagonistic portraying of Christians in the film industry. Hollywood normally depicting Christians in uncomplimentary roles as demented, treacherous, hypocritical deviants could have run its course.
This revelation could have been prompted by the unprecedented success of the History Channel’s 10 hour mini-series produced by the dynamic husband and wife team of Mark Burnett and Roma Downey entitled “The Bible” which averaged 15 million viewers per episode and earned three Emmy nominations.
No, it’s not a religious epiphany that Hollywood may be rethinking its treatment of its Christian audiences, but a realization that there has been a drought of legitimately serious Christian theme movies since….well, really one cannot remember. The fact that there is a huge Christian audience out there wanting to spend their money may finally have Hollywood’s attention.
It has been ten years since Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ”, and Gibson’s production was a blockbuster at the box office, but not the standard Hollywood created product. Gibson went outside the normal venues due to the entertainment industry’s resistance. Although greatly successful, Hollywood’s extreme liberalism just did not embrace Gibson’s effort.
On February 28th, 20th Century Fox is going to release a movie based on the History Channel’s successful biblical miniseries, and will jump in with both feet in a movie entitled, “The Son of God”. The story will reflect the birth, life, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It could well be the first un-Hollywood type Christian movie since the mid-20th century.
Close on the heels of the attempt by 20th Century Fox to cash in on the religious interests that have been untapped for decades will be a March 28th release by Paramount Pictures called “Noah”. It will star academy award winners Russell Crowe and Anthony Hopkins in the ageless tale of Noah’s ark.
So what’s going on? Is Hollywood finally going to make movies in the tradition of old Hollywood that used to put out wonder works of production as “The Ten Commandments”, “The Greatest Story Ever Told”, or “Ben Hurr”? Could it be that the age of insulting those with religious values is coming to a close?
“Son of God” appears to be a serious attempt to present the story of Christ without Hollywood’s standard story line of corrupting the character of Christ or putting a religious figure into a negative light.
“Noah” could be the blockbuster surprise of the decade with an equally ambitious attempt to stick to the story line about Noah’s flood in the Bible without the ridiculous Hollywood embellishments. Rumor has it that the director is attempting to present Noah as an environmentalist, but that is not a major concern based on the bulk of what is being presented.
What is being weighted by the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim audience is how close does the story of Noah follows the account in Genesis without unnecessary Hollywood spins. The official trailer of “Noah” depicts one technical accuracy regarding the fountains of the deep being broken up to accelerate the rising water. This is the only account ever of Noah’s flood that sticks closely to what Genesis records regarding the flood waters rising.
If this detail is an indication of what is in the rest of “Noah”, it should be a hum-dinger.