The Wall Street Journal had an article the other day about the flurry of Bible stories that are now being produced by Hollywood. Erica Orden writes:
There are compelling economic reasons for Hollywood to embrace the Good Book. The studios are increasingly reliant on source material with a built-in audience, something the Bible—the best-selling book in history—certainly has. And like the comic-book superheroes that movie companies have relied on for the past decade, biblical stories are easily recognizable to both domestic and the all-important foreign audiences. What’s more, they’re free: Studios don’t need to pay expensive licensing fees to adapt stories and characters already in the public domain.
In addition to “Noah,” Time Warner’s Warner Bros. Pictures is developing a movie about Moses, tentatively titled “Gods and Kings,” which Steven Spielberg is in talks to direct, according to people familiar with the matter. Warner Bros. also recently acquired the script for “Pontius Pilate.” Another Moses project, “Exodus,” is in development at News Corp.’s 20th Century Fox, with Chernin Entertainment producing and Ridley Scott expected to direct. (News Corp. also owns The Wall Street Journal.)
Sony Pictures is developing “The Redemption of Cain,” a supernatural film loosely inspired by the fratricidal tale of Cain and Abel, a project slated to be Will Smith’s directorial debut. And Lionsgate will distribute “Mary, Mother of Christ,” which is being billed as a prequel to “The Passion of the Christ.”
Many Christians might shudder thinking of how Hollywood will twist and manipulate these stories for their own
purposes pockets. This trembling is justified. But the fact that Hollywood will be coming out with more Bible stories is not necessarily a bad thing.
As with most things, there is an opportunity here.
It may provide some more open dialogue in the public square about Christianity, Scripture, truth, and redemptive history.