I have yet to see the The Bible: The Epic Miniseries but I do know that it was immensely popular. I think it surprised many people in Hollywood, since most of its population adheres to a more liberal perspective. Surely, many thought that there wasn’t going to be a market for what they deem to be “fairytales.” But when you also take into account Mel Gibson’s blockbuster The Passion of the Christ, Hollywood is beginning to take notice (again). Afterall, the god of Hollywood is Mammon.
But what happens when Hollywood takes on a Judeo-Christian story?
What usually happen is that Hollywood takes “creative” license with the material and ends up butchering a story that billions of people believe to be factual and historical (myself included).
Some might say, well, so what? It’s jus a movie. Sure, but will you react the same way if someone did the same thing with the Holocaust? What if they made a movie denying the whole thing? People would be up in arms, and rightly so.
Acclaimed writer/director Darren Aronofsky is directing a new movie starring Russell Crowe titled ‘Noah.’ The film is based on the Biblical story of Noah and the flood.
I’ve seen the trailer and yes, it looks epic. Great visual effects. Great actors. But, according to an early review of the script, and by the director’s own words, this movie of Noah is really just a story about the environment.
As one reviewer of the script summarized:
“This movie will be rejected by millions of devoted Bible readers worldwide because once again it subverts their own sacred narrative with a political agenda of pagan earth religion that is offensive to their Faith.” (Read the whole thing here)
And then, there’s also a brief clip of Russell Crowe speaking about his role in Noah, where he says that people are going to be “surprised” by Noah. He says, “This is a dude that stood by and watched the entire population of the planet perish. He’s not benevolent. He’s not even nice.”
Really, Russell? Did you not know that Noah preached of the coming judgement for 120 years? If that’s not an example of kindness and patience, then I don’t know what is. Now, if you’re basing your view of Noah on Aronofsky’s flawed screenplay, then I suppose you’re right because that’s not the biblical Noah.
Director Ridley Scott is also working on another biblical movie that is being released next year as well. The movie is called Exodus and it tells the story of Moses and the children of Israel while enslaved in Egypt.
Christian Bale plays Moses. Aaron Paul (Jesse from Breaking Bad) plays Joshua.
Now, not much is known about this film yet, but some people are concerned because of Ridley Scott’s well-known disdain for religion. Of course, there’s still a chance, as minute as it may be, that Mr. Scott will not go the Aronofsky route, but we’re not holding our breath.
What to do
It seems to me that the best possible way to change this trend is to have Christians direct, produce and write films. I think for too long we have been sitting in the sidelines, whining and complaining, but not directly engaging our culture. Yes, there have been some major advances of Christians in the media, but it’s not enough.
I challenge all Christians who consider themselves to be creative to consider a career in the film industry. It is undeniable that millions of people are going to watch these movies, why not make accurate biblical films? Why not use films as an evangelistic tool?
Something to think about.