Next year expects to be huge for The Bible. You know, bigger than things tend to ALREADY be for Christianity’s most important book. Multiple faith-based projects will make their way to multiplexes in 2014, starting with the feature-length pass of the 10-part History Channel mini-series based on the Bible’s most legendary tales. The above trailer was cut on behalf of the film, which Deadline says will open in theaters on Feb. 28, 2014.
British TV producer Mark Burnett, who is best known as the brain behind the reality competition Survivor, helped bring the 10-part series to the History Channel in 2013. The scripted series ran from March 3 to March 31, and went on to earn three Emmy Award nominations for best miniseries, and sound editing and sound mixing in July. But Burnett long has promised a three-hour "edit" of the series would reach theaters, and would focus primarily on Jesus’ death and resurrection. Of the feature-length version, Burnett said:
Just on the scripted side, I could spend the next 10 years just distributing the Bible series and the movie. I believe that in the next 15 years, more people on the planet will have seen our Bible series that haven’t seen it."
He’s certainly confident. Perhaps he’s looking at the box office numbers of Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, and realizing that when Bible stories are handled properly, they have the potential to break the bank. Gibson’s movie earned a staggering $611 million worldwide back in 2004 … and that was with a limiting R rating, due to its violent tone.
Burnett’s Bible won’t be the only film vying for Catholics’ attentions. One month later, on March 28, Darren Aronofsky and Russell Crowe will unveil their take on the Old Testament story of Noah, who built an ark during a massive flood to preserve the species and restore the planet. That drama recently revealed its first full trailer. Give it a spin.
"Is this the end of everything?" Quite the opposite. There should be room enough for both projects in local movie theaters. And if audiences respond in kind to quality Bible stories, there are countless other cinematic stories that could be told in the future. It will be interesting to see how this trend plays out in the coming year, because Hollywood cold be dipping into the Bible often if both movies find a massive audience.