“The Young Messiah,” a feature film that imagines Jesus' childhood and is based on famed writer Anne Rice’s book, “Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt,” almost never saw the light of day, with funding obstacles leading the team behind the movie to fear that the project was dead.
In fact, they were forced to halt production plans for nearly two years while producers scrambled for funding — a test of faith for those involved.
"Securing funding for any movie outside the studio system is difficult," Hollywood director and writer Cyrus Nowrasteh told TheBlaze. "This was further complicated by the fact that our lead character is a child — not a lot of child movie stars out there that can trigger funding."
An additional challenge, according to Nowrasteh, was that some funders weren't interested in faith-based projects. These factors collectively led funding prospects to "fall apart," leaving the team wondering whether it would ever be possible to officially move into the production phase.
Watch those involved describe the challenges they faced to resurrect "The Young Messiah":
Nowrasteh and his team, though, refused to give up, as they believed in the movie's message, with the director explaining, "As long as the corpse was breathing, we were going to keep pushing."
And that perseverance paid off. Despite the early challenges that resulted in a nearly two-year production shutdown, "The Young Messiah" did eventually make its way into production and to theaters earlier this year, with the faith-based film releasing on DVD and Blu-Ray on Tuesday.
"I honestly did not think we could get [funding] back up. [It is] always difficult when a film is forced to shut down for it to be revived," Nowrasteh said. "So I was flabbergasted when it came together again."
Throughout the uncertainty, though, Nowrasteh relied upon his faith.
"I try to separate these 'business' issues from my faith, honestly. One can not be allowed to affect the other," he said. "I did believe wholeheartedly that if God wanted this movie made it would happen eventually. But if it didn't there was a reason for that, too."
As TheBlaze previously reported, Nowrasteh is a Christian whose previous projects include “The Stoning of Soraya M.” and “The Path to 9/11." He previously explained the great care he says he took in consulting faith leaders to ensure that the contents of “The Young Messiah” were accurate and theologically sound.
This is notable considering that the Bible doesn’t tell us much about Jesus’ childhood — and that’s the central theme of Nowrasteh‘s movie.
Listen to him discuss the feature film below:
“He’s 7 years old throughout the story, so we wanted to make sure that, theologically speaking, we weren’t doing something that would be offensive or would be a problem,” he said, adding that the first priority was to make sure that there was “nothing in the story that contradicts anything in the Bible.”
Nowrasteh added, “We can’t have him as a child doing things that are inconsistent with his character as we know it.”
In his most recent interview with TheBlaze, the director said that "The Young Messiah" sparks "conversations about Jesus, love, compassion, forgiveness, and how we parent, how to treat extended family, how to be a better son or daughter."
Nowrasteh believes that Hollywood needs to make more films like it.
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