As Hollywood continues to release faith-based films in an effort to cultivate religious audiences, Affirm Films, a Sony company tasked with making Christian-centric movies, is preparing to release yet another feature about Jesus.
But this particular project, titled, "Risen" — a film about the aftermath of Christ's death and resurrection — is vastly different from many of the other films that have been released about Christianity's central figure in recent years.
Rich Peluso, senior vice-president of Affirm Films, told The Church Boys podcast that "Risen" will present an "intersection between scripture and historical fiction," with the key character identified Clavius, a Roman military official who will be played by actor Joseph Fiennes.
The plot focuses on Clavius, a fictional character who does not believe that Christ is the Messiah, and who is tasked with solving the mystery surrounding why Jesus' body disappeared after the crucifixion.
Listen to Peluso discuss "Risen" below:
"The premise is from the point of view of [Clavius in] the story: 'Of course Jesus didn't rise again. Of course it's a hoax. The body's missing, his followers have absconded with the body to keep the false movement going,'" Peluso said of Clavius' position. "It's his goal ... to prove that Jesus did not rise again."
The film executive continued, explaining why "Risen" is so different from other films like it: "Where most films about the life of Christ end at the crucifixion, 'Risen' really begins at the crucifixion and moves through the resurrection and the great commission and ascension."
Peluso and his team had first tried to make the movie work back in 2007 when they first saw the script, but it didn't quite come together.
Years later, it crossed their desk again, and with the circumstances surrounding it different at that time, the production progressed; it will finally releasd on Jan. 22, 2016.
Watch the trailer for "Risen" below:
As for the balance between staying true to scripture and inserting fictional characters and plot lines, Peluso said that the filmmakers behind the feature were careful in their execution.
"Any time you deal with scripture as your source material there needs to be some creative license to kind of fill out the characters and the transitions between the set pieces and the action," he said. "Our goal was to make sure that we were harmonious with scripture.
Peluso said that the filmmakers worked with pastors and biblical experts to ensure that they stayed true to scripture when it came into play at various points in the movie, promising a "thrilling ride" for viewers.
Front page image via Shutterstock.com.
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