By Jared Lafitte
On Friday, the movie SON OF GOD will hit theaters nationwide. Christian leaders are urging people to go see the movie this weekend, including some special advance screenings Thursday night.
Released by 20th Century Fox, one of the six biggest movie studios in Hollywood, the movie is based on Mark Burnett and Roma Downey’s THE BIBLE miniseries on The History Channel.
When Mark and Roma first set out to do the miniseries, many people in the entertainment industry didn’t respond favorably. However, the miniseries became one of the highest-rated series on Cable TV last year and had the Number One DVD sales of any other television program.
Now, a new theatrical version of the life of Jesus is coming to the big screen, the first such major Hollywood production in more than 50 years, since THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD.
“You may not be able to say to somebody, ‘Come to church with me,’ but you may be able to say, ‘Come to this movie with me,’” Roma said during a national television interview. Roma plays the Virgin Mary in the movie, which stars Portuguese actor Diogo Morgado as Jesus.
Viewers can see Mark and Roma on the ReelzChannel’s one-hour special of the 22nd Annual Movieguide® Faith & Values Awards, which is being telecast Saturday at 2 p.m. Eastern Time and 11 a.m. Pacific Time (check your local Cable listings).
SON OF GOD has received widespread media attention, including being featured on Good Morning America.
Also, several high-profile pastors in cities like Miami, Oklahoma City, New York City, and Charlotte have taken over local movie theater screens to host private screenings of the movie.
One of those pastors is Rick Warren.
“SON OF GOD [is] a brilliant portrayal of Jesus Christ,” Warren said. “It’s the best I’ve ever seen, and I think that, if we unite together, it could have a major impact on our nation.”
“Of all the films I’ve seen about Jesus, this is the most moving,” Bishop David Zubik of the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “The manner in which they portray some of the significant scenes takes on a love and a tenderness and a merciful side of Jesus that maybe isn’t always as beautifully portrayed.”
“We’re very excited that the community is mobilizing to support Son of God,” Roma and Mark said in a joint statement. “Our hope is that the story and message of Jesus Christ will reach tens of millions of people nationwide.”
SON OF GOD carries a PG-13 rating and is decidedly less violent than 2004’s THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, so it’s much more accessible to an audience of all ages.
Roma Downey and her husband, Mark Burnett, are encouraging people to take a friend, family member, or co-worker to see SON OF GOD this weekend.
“It’s rare that a movie of this quality, faithfulness, and life-changing power comes to theaters,” Movieguide® Founder and Publisher Dr. Ted Baehr said.
Imagine what would happen if SON OF GOD also broke records on the big screen.
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Sources: Movieguide®, Religious News Service, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.