By Ben Kayser, Managing Editor
The release of NOAH later this month has Paramount Pictures hoping that their biggest demographic, the Christian community, won’t reject their movie. This has brought on an aggressive marketing campaign towards the evangelical community, including The National Religious Broadcasters convention held in Nashville last week.
At the convention, President and CEO of the NRB Dr. Jerry Johnson led a panel discussing NOAH’s positive qualities and its departures from Biblical scripture. Dr. Johnson concluded the event by respectfully requesting Paramount Pictures add an appropriate disclaimer that would show proper respect for the original text, similar to what DreamWork’s included in THE PRINCE OF EGYPT.
Paramount Pictures heard this request and decided to include the following disclaimer in their promotional materials, “The film is inspired by the story of Noah. While artistic license has been taken, we believe that this film is true to the essence, values, and integrity of a story that is a cornerstone of faith for millions of people worldwide. The biblical story of Noah can be found in the book of Genesis.”
The show of good will on Paramount’s side to reach and work with the Christian evangelical community is a testament of the positive steps toward uplifting entertainment that are being made in Hollywood. MOVIEGUIDE® commends Paramount for considering the concerns of the Christian community and for taking steps to dialogue with that community.
As MOVIEGUIDE®’s Founder and Publisher Dr. Ted Baehr (who was a major theological advisor to THE PRINCE OF EGPYT production team) has pointed out, there are 2.38 billion Christians in the world, including more than 238 million Americans. Because of the efforts of MOVIEGUIDE® and other Christian leaders over the past 30 years, Hollywood is no longer ignoring Christians.
Already, 2014 is being known as the year of Christian movies and biblical epics, with the releases of SON OF GOD, NOAH, HEAVEN IS FOR REAL, GOD’S NOT DEAD, MOM’S NIGHT OUT, a LEFT BEHIND remake, and Ridley Scott’s EXODUS. While some will dismiss a few, or even all of the stated movies, it’s critical that Christians discerningly support the good Christian, biblical movies we’ve been hoping, praying, and recommending that Hollywood and the worldwide entertainment industry produce. Scriptural accuracy is vitally important, and MOVIEGUIDE® will continue its work to ensure that God’s name is lifted up and Jesus is glorified in Hollywood and the mass media of entertainment. Let us stand for truth, respond with grace, and pray that these movies will send more people to the Word of God then ever before.
Stay tuned later in March for MOVIEGUIDE®’s full review of NOAH.
Dr. Baehr is also chairman of the NRB’s new Film Committee. Author of THE CULTURE-WISE FAMILY and HOW TO SUCCEED IN HOLLYWOOD (WITHOUT LOSING YOUR SOUL), he was a producer of CBS-TV’s animated feature THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE, which won an Emmy Award and was seen by more than 37 million viewers in the United States in 1979.