In an interview published by The Hollywood Reporter on Feb. 17, 2014, "Son of God" producer/co-star Roma Downey commented that because many viewers complained that "The Bible's" devil/Satan (played by Mohamen Mehdi Ouazanni) looked too much like Barack Obama, scenes featuring the devil have been cut from the "Son of God" movie.
"Son of God" opens in U.S. and Canadian theaters on Feb. 28, 2014.
Downey commented, "It gives me great pleasure to tell you that the devil is on the cutting-room floor. This is now a movie about Jesus, the son of God, and the devil gets no more screen time. Someone made a comment that the actor who played the devil vaguely resembled our president, and suddenly the media went nuts. The next day, when I was sure everyone would only be talking about Jesus, they were talking about Satan instead."
She added: "For our movie, Son of God, I wanted all of the focus to be on Jesus. I want his name to be on the lips of everyone who sees this movie, so we cast Satan out. It gives me great pleasure to tell you that the devil is on the cutting-room floor."
Downey is married to Mark Burnett, another producer of "The Bible" and "Son of God." Downey is best known for starring in the TV series "Touched by an Angel." She plays Mother Mary in "The Bible"/"Son of God." Burnett is also an executive producer of reality TV shows such as "Survivor," "The Voice" and "The Celebrity Apprentice."
"The Bible," a 10-hour miniseries, broke ratings records (10 million to 13 million viewers per episode) for History Channel when the miniseries aired in 2013. The DVD/Blu-ray release of "The Bible" was also a big hit.
"The Bible" was nominated for three Primetime Emmy Awards: Outstanding Miniseries or Movie; Outstanding Sound Editing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special; and Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Miniseries or a Movie.
Other cast members in "The Bible"/"Son of God" are Diogo Morgado as Jesus Christ, Darwin Shaw as Peter, Greg Hicks as Pontius Pilate, Sebastian Knapp as John and Amber Rose Revah as Mary Magdalene.
One month after "Son of God" is released, the movie faces competition from another biblical-themed film: Paramount Pictures' "Noah," starring Russell Crowe as the title character. "Noah" is set for release in U.S. and Canadian theaters on March 25, 2014.