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Son of God' takes different tack than 'Passion



By RYAN PEARSON

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Ten years after "The Passion of the Christ," Jesus is returning to movie theatres with a gentler, more inclusive approach.

"Son of God," spun out of the hugely successful "The Bible" miniseries, plays up the political maneuvering that led to the crucifixion. It won an endorsement from the Anti-Defamation League's Abraham Foxman, one of the Jewish leaders who denounced Mel Gibson's 2004 blockbuster "Passion."

"Clearly we were aware of the controversy that had been created around that film," actress and executive producer Roma Downey said in a recent interview. "If everything begins with intention, our heart on 'Son of God' was to find the places that we could bring people together."

Gibson famously self-financed and distributed his ultra-violent "Passion" in 2004. It became a box office hit but was criticized by some reviewers and religious leaders for its depiction of Jews.

Downey's husband, "The Voice" and "Survivor" producer Mark Burnett, said the Christian filmmaking team reached out specifically to other faiths to tell the story of the life of Jesus - played with an air of bemused dignity by Portuguese actor Diogo Morgado - without causing offense.

"It just took a lot of work and a lot of time and a lot of listening over a number of years to see everybody's point of view and how to not take the teeth out of the story - the dynamic drama from the story - but be sensitive across groups," Burnett said. "Because there's very different interpretations across the Catholic faith and the Protestant faith and the Jewish faith."

Using footage shot during production of History Channel's ten-part miniseries "The Bible," the film being released Friday spends much of its final half examining maneuvering by Jerusalem's military governor, Pontius Pilate, and Judean high priest Caiaphas.

"It's like 'House of Cards' in many ways," Burnett said. "They're all humans living their lives ... Pilate is scared of Caesar and what Rome might do. Caiaphas is scared of Pilate and losing the whole temple and their faith. It's a real political thriller with tension which explodes at Passover in Jerusalem."

Burnett credits his miniseries, which garnered strong ratings and broke DVD and Blu-ray sales records last year, with this year's flurry of biblical films from major Hollywood studios.

"You've got to believe that the enormity of 'The Bible' series had other biblical productions speed up," he said.

Darren Aronofsky's take on "Noah," starring Russell Crowe, is coming next month, and Ridley Scott's "Exodus," with Christian Bale, is due out in December.

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boots February 28 2014 at 6:18 PM

I loved the "Bible," mini-series, althought i thought it didn't take enough time to thouroughly take a look at the differt stories-If the movie has enough new stuff and goes more in depth-with a little more money for special effect (after all, God didn't hold back on His spending) ,, then I'll go see it-if not, I'll just replay the series. Good job though.

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Mike Harding February 28 2014 at 4:27 PM

I have a great life and have no complaints about what goes on around me, My wife and children are wonderful and we make a good living and love our grandchildren. We really are blessed with very good friends and hope for a good future for all!

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jekkerr February 28 2014 at 4:47 PM

Jesus was the most poular peace loving yogi to ever walk the Earth. He would be appalled at all the hate and devisiveness perpetrated in his name.

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3 replies
henry236 February 28 2014 at 8:11 PM

I just seen the movie too. I liked it. As for those who say the new testament was written over 100 years after jesus' time. I just want to share what i've read and believe. Most of the letters of the NT were written by Paul the apostle. Although it is true he did not know Jesus while he was alive, Paul did know the apostle Peter, who did know Jesus. Paul wrote a masterpiece of the Christian faith called the letter to the Romans. The four gospels, Matthew , Mark, Luke and John were written by Matthew and John who knew Jesus if i'm not mistaken on that. I have read that Mark and Luke were not of the original 12 disciples but simply passed on what they heard.
Lets see here? First and second peter, written by Peter had to be written first century before he died. Going back to Paul, ALL of his letters written again folks,,,,First Century. First John, Second and third John...written....First Century. Revelation.....the 2 schools of thought i know of are that it was writte 60's AD or 90's AD........again within First Century. I believe the gospel story is either the greatest story ever told and false or the greatest story ever told and true. With the evidence and my knowing i say it is true. We are sinners. Jesus died for our sins to reconcile us to God. We humbly accept this then we are saved. It is a free gift. An absolute pride and ego killer.. I love it. THis is the good news of the gospel.

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Qazer February 28 2014 at 3:23 PM

Jesus was tanned from it's hot there you ever ben to the land he lived it hot sun there he was tan.

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ltcolrdfusmc February 28 2014 at 6:52 PM

If you say, “But there is no proof God is real. Or it's hard to believe.” It is NOT hard to believe at all, it makes total sense! Evolution does NOT! Ok, let’s think about that statement for a minute. If you want “proof of God,” look in the mirror! You are created in his image! Are you are so delusional that you actually believe you are just a fluke? An absolute accident of nature? How is it possible that you came into existence without a master designer? It takes intelligence to create something as simple as an arrowhead, why does it not take so much more to create something as complex as a human being or any other animal? If you, like all evolutionists/atheists think that something as complex as the human brain or nerve system or an eye can come into existence and work together without intelligent design then you are an absolute retard! How did the very first eye come into existence when before it none existed? Who “designed” it? A single cell has no brain! Evolutionists believe we all evolved from pond scum over 100 million years ago. So I ask you again how does a cell without a brain, without the intelligent ability to design or create blue prints ever become something other than what it is? Here is a question you will like how did nature create the very first penis when none existed before? Or how about the first vagina? Why did “mother nature” make reproduction possible only by procreation requiring 1 male and 1 female? The answer is in the very first sentence of the Bible, “In the beginning God!

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2 replies
rzick ltcolrdfusmc February 28 2014 at 6:56 PM

What a load of non-critical thinking.

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2 replies
ltcolrdfusmc rzick February 28 2014 at 7:04 PM

Atheists, how does it make you feel, knowing that we are “one nation under God?
Don’t atheists rely on faith, because they can’t prove God doesn’t exist? Atheists say God does not exist, so the burden of proof is on them. Atheists will often argue that "Atheism isn't belief. Atheism is the lack of belief." This is nothing more than a play on words. "Lack of belief" is a pretty subjective phrase.
If you say that atheism is supported by the lack of evidence for God, then it is only your opinion that there is no evidence. You cannot know all evidence for or against God; therefore you cannot say there is no evidence for God. If you lack belief in God, then why do you go around attacking the idea of God? On what basis do you believe there is no God?

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ltcolrdfusmc rzick February 28 2014 at 7:07 PM

Can you describe one natural process that creates information? What evidence is there that information, such as that in DNA, could ever assemble itself? As you may know, a computer program is made up of ones and zeros, like this: 110010101011000. The way they are arranged tells the computer program what to do. The DNA code in each of our cells is very similar. It's made up of four chemicals that scientists abbreviate as A, T, G, and C. These are arranged in the human cell like this: CGTGTGACTCGCTCCTGAT and so on. There are three billion of these letters in every human cell!!If astronomers received an intelligent signal from some distant galaxy, most people would conclude that it came from an intelligent source. Why then doesn’t the vast information sequence in the DNA molecule of just a bacterium also imply an intelligent source?

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dws51564 ltcolrdfusmc February 28 2014 at 7:01 PM

I think you should look up what proof is Skippy.

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1 reply
ltcolrdfusmc dws51564 February 28 2014 at 7:10 PM

The atheist can't find God for the same reason that a thief can't find a policeman.

I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.

Some people complain because God puts thorns on roses, while others praise God for putting roses among thorns.
If God were small enough to be understood, He would not be big enough to be worshiped.

God exist whether or not men choose to believe in Him. The reason why many people do not believe in God is not so much that it is intellectually impossible to believe in God, but because belief in God forces that thoughtful person to face the fact that he is accountable to such a God. Still, even the most admirable of atheists is nothing more than a moral parasite, living his life based on borrowed ethics. This is why, when pressed, the atheist will often attempt to hide his lack of conviction in his own beliefs behind some poorly formulated utilitarianism, or argue that he acts out of altruistic self-interest. But this is only post-facto rationalization, not reason or rational behavior.

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ae12wrangell February 28 2014 at 2:47 PM

In my opinion, of the recent Biblical movies, The Passion of the Christ was best. And Jim Caviezel went through hell to do it. Yes he was on the cross, but it gets better. While Mel Gibson was filming the scenes, a bolt of lightning struck Caviezel. He was rushed to an emergency room in a Turkish Hospital. Production was stopped for a few days, then Caviezel was released, and it was back to work.

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2 replies
Lydia ae12wrangell February 28 2014 at 2:48 PM

Well, it was good but you have to see this one to make a decision, don't you? I personally saw this one on the History Channel and much preferred Diogo's performance, not to say that Jim's wasn't good.

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bnd2suksed ae12wrangell February 28 2014 at 2:52 PM

Wow, what a convenient "story".

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antlerpaul February 28 2014 at 2:47 PM

Recycling TV mini-series footage into Movie? Slicker than the money changers in the temple!!!

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psychjet February 28 2014 at 8:32 PM

My Jesus does not have a face - he was a man but then ascended into heaven. It would be more meaningful to show the story through the eyes of Jesus - never show his face - just his voice and what he saw.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
thlaf February 28 2014 at 8:44 PM

Can't wait to see it.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
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