First, the stories of the Bible came to viewers’ TV screens last March via the History Channel series of the same name, produced by Mark Burnett and Roma Downey.
Now the life of Jesus, as depicted by the TV show, will be arriving in theaters. The film “Son of God,” produced by “Survivor” executive producer Burnett and Downey (who also portrays Mary, Jesus’ mother), will consist of parts of the “Bible” series as well as scenes that were originally not included in the TV show. The movie will arrive in theaters on Feb. 28.
When “The Bible” aired last March, it was originally 10 hours long and debuted to impressive ratings. The series premiere beat all the shows airing on major networks when it aired on March 3, and the last “Bible” installment essentially tied in ratings with a new episode of AMC's perennially high-rated show “The Walking Dead.”
“Son of God” recently made headlines when Downey announced that the character of the devil, portrayed in “The Bible” by actor Mohamen Mehdi Ouzaani, will not appear in “Son of God.” Some “Bible” watchers had said they thought Ouzaani resembled Barack Obama, prompting Burnett and Downey to release a statement calling the reactions “utter nonsense.” In addition, the History Channel stated that “it [was] unfortunate that anyone made this false connection.”
Now with the release date of “Son of God” approaching, Downey told the Hollywood Reporter, “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.”
NBC-TV announced this past summer that it would be teaming up with Burnett and Downey on a sequel to "The Bible."
"Son of God" is the first of several movies with a Biblical theme arriving at multiplexes. On March 28,“Noah,” starring Russell Crowe opens. And the film “Exodus,” in which actor Christian Bale portrays Moses, is scheduled to be released this December.