The Province

Chapter and verse on film Son of God


Mark Burnett had faith in The Bible TV series and now the spinoff movie Son of God.

The film, which Burnett co-produced with his actress wife Roma Downey (who plays Mother Mary), chronicles the life and times of Jesus (Diogo Morgado) with a modern storytelli­ng flair.

Compiled from unused footage and re-edited scenes from the popular miniseries, the recycling is a wise move from Burnett who follows through on The Bible momentum last year.

The reality show producer knows a few things about what viewers and audiences want; refer to his long-running success with the Survivor franchise.

With that in mind, here is the chapter and verse on Son of God from Burnett in an interview with Postmedia.

In the beginning

Burnett said that he started putting together The Bible five years ago. He decided from the start the production values and the cast had to be high-calibre. It upped the price tag, but he figured it would be worth the extra money.

Early into the miniseries shoot, he gambled again, filming more of the Jesus segments than required in the hope that a movie might materializ­e.

The first episode of the 10-show History channel miniseries attracted over 13 million viewers, which was the largest cable show audience in 2013.

He said the movie was already in the planning stages when the positive TV numbers came in, but it turned out they had many more film sequences than they could possibly use.

“It was very difficult to get (Son of God) down to a couple of hours and still have the emotional impact. but we did it,” said Burnett.

In the middle

Like the miniseries, Burnett insisted the movie move along crisply while framing itself in a narrative that would be familiar to 21st-century audiences during Jesus’s journey from birth, his early teachings to the crucifixio­n and resurrecti­on. “Son of God has an epic feature-film quality and it also has a little House of Cards intrigue,” he said.

Even the disciples have a made-over feel. “The disciples think they are following a charismati­c rebel leader who is leading them against the Romans.”

In the end

Son of God is expected to have a healthy opening weekend in over 2,000 theatres across North America.

This isn’t Mel Gibson’s R-rated The Passion of the Christ, however. The PG-13 film is more accessible and a great deal more mainstream than Gibson’s controvers­ial 2004 movie.

“I think The Bible was a huge wake up call,” Burnett said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada