‘The Bible’ Producers Resurrect Jesus for Expanded ‘Son of God’ Film (EXCLUSIVE)

'The Bible' Producers Resurrect Jesus Expanded

Pic derived from Mark Burnett/Roma Downey miniseries to tell story of Jesus

Mark Burnett and Roma Downey have struck a distribution pact with 20th Century Fox for a feature film, “Son of God,” derived from the pair’s 10-hour miniseries “The Bible.”

Pic will focus on the story of Jesus, played by Portuguese actor Diogo Morgado, from his birth through the Resurrection. The movie is distilled from the Emmy-nominated mini that aired in March on History and augmented with scenes not featured in the telecast. “Bible” aired in the U.S. to an average of 15 million-plus viewers for its five two-hour installments; it’s now rolling out to big auds in overseas markets.

The studio is still working out a release date for next year. The sides are also hammering out the international distrib components of the pact.

Fox sees the project as a chance to nab a proven property that will be a big draw with faith-motivated auds but also has the ability to pull in other adult demos. The studio was the natural home for “Son of God” as Fox Home Entertainment is already handling the homevid distribution of the miniseries. “Bible” has moved more than 1 million units since its April release and ranks as the top-selling TV-to-disc title of the past two years, per Fox.

“We’ve had the good fortune to work with (Fox topper) Jim Gianopulos and his team for the past year on ‘The Bible’ (homevid),” said Burnett. “While we appreciated the interest from other distributors, Fox was the right choice for us. This movie deserves a big studio behind it. We have crafted a powerful standalone movie that is a completely emotional, uplifting experience for audiences.”

“Son of God” runs two hours and 15 minutes and is a complete re-edit of the Jesus storyline from the mini. Fox Home Entertainment will also distrib a homevid release of the film edit.

The notion of pulling a theatrical release out of a miniseries is a characteristically convention-defying move from Burnett, the mastermind of “The Voice,” “Survivor,” “The Apprentice” and other unscripted primetime hits. Burnett and Downey own “Bible” franchise outright, having secured independent financing through their Lightworkers Media banner for the production of the miniseries. Early on the pair had the idea that a feature film focused on the Jesus story could be culled from the larger story arc of the mini.

Burnett and Downey tapped former Fox and Revolution Studios exec Tom Sherak to help broker the feature distribution deal. There were multiple suitors for “Son of God” that offered bids during the past few weeks. The Fox agreement was set Wednesday evening by Sherak, Brian Edwards, COO of Burnett’s One Three Media banner, and Gianopulos.

The film release promises to add another large dimension to a project that has been embraced by a range of faith leaders — whose endorsements undoubtedly helped boost viewership for the mini. “Son of God” has clear potential to reach the kind of auds that rarely hit the multiplexes for other Hollywood fare. But the miniseries’ ratings proved that it also had mainstream appeal.

“Bible” has been a four-year odyssey for Burnett and Downey. The married couple spearheaded the writing and production of the mini, most of which was shot on location in Morocco. Downey also costars as Mary.

The pair are working on a followup, “AD: Beyond the Bible,” as a regular series for NBC.

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  1. Richard Baughman says:

    Is the article’s title the writer’s lame attempt at being witty? Jesus was not resurrected from the tomb by any man. The producers of The Bible television series cannot “resurrect” anyone. Bad form. There are things you do not joke about.

  2. denny says:

    I can’t wait to have it come out. Looks wonderful.

  3. smallville says:

    It’s about time Jesus’ Name is heard and proclaimed to the world….that needs Hope.

  4. smallville says:

    Please I have been waiting for an AD film depicting how Christ’s disciples proclaimed Jesus’ power and resurrection. The last time I saw this was during the early 80s’AD’wasthe title…I couldn’t it to re watch it….I hope this all comes true….

  5. Susan Moore says:

    I can’t wait! The mini-series was fantastic and The Story of Jesus will be just as great. Many churches in CA are talking that we need another Christian revival to let people know we need God and this county needs God. I really miss Touched by an Angel! May everyone involved be truly blessed by what you are doing. What out for the snakes!!!!!

  6. Ramsay Wade Jr. says:

    Finally- a quality, mainstream movie about the only One who really matters: *The Lord Jesus Christ*

    Thanks Mark and Roma for spreading the everlasting good news! God bless :)

  7. Liane Oshier says:

    Can’t wait to see it! I couldn’t watch the Bible series that you produced because I don’t have TV and was unable to watch it on my computer.

  8. drumdaddy says:

    Whoopee! Another retelling of the fairy tale. OK, folks, I know that this drivel sells, but is a buck the most important thing when you are contributing to superstitious brainwashing of the ancient tribal feud variety? Make a deal, you’ll stop if Islam stops the same type of mass brainwashing. You can both begin by agreeing that the storybook character Abraham was willing to murder his own son to please the voice in his head. Not my personal hero, I’d like him up in a mental facility.

    • Karen says:

      you are an idiot although the movie and the sereise probobly arnt accurate. from the oh so very real God and Jesus but if you would like to think its a fary tail you go right a head me beliving in the true word of God well if im wrong witch Im not all I will do is rot in a forever grave. but you on the other hand if you are wrong well i hope you can stand the heat cause thats one kitchen you wont get out of I myself either rot in my grave or go to be with the one I have accepted and Love as Jesus Christ the one and only God who has created each and everyone of us diffrent with our own set of finger prints that isnt something you can just bam and its there can you build a building with out someone drawing up the bluprints and everything put exactly where it should go the same with us God has the blue prints on each and every one of us we didnt just happen and I am not a ape

    • drumdaddy says:

      Whoopee! Another retelling of the fairy tale. OK, folks, I know that this drivel sells, but is a buck the most important thing when you are contributing to superstitious brainwashing of the ancient tribal feud variety? Make a deal, you’ll stop if Islam stops the same type of mass brainwashing. You can both begin by agreeing that the storybook character Abraham was willing to murder his own son to please the voice in his head. Not my personal hero, I’d lock him up in a mental facility.

  9. G.J. LaRouche says:

    I wish Mark and Roma the best of luck. I watched and enjoyed ‘The Bible’ series. In fact, I just completed my screenplay titled ‘Jesus Christ’ just days ago and secured the rights to it. I’m hoping that agents and/or movie studios will look at it. It’s a very good script, if I may say so. If you know of anybody in Hollywood who is interested in my story, let me know. Thanks.

  10. gloria brown says:

    This is GODS work !!! He is quieting moving in this time of term oil that there is ONE GOD and this man Jesus is the way. For all mankind. I wish that they show more of ABRHAM so to would see that we all descend from ABRHAM. Good works

  11. Vivian Self says:

    Praise Jesus for this wonderful team only God could get the Glory for the great work He has done . I am so happy for everyone involved in this master piece on the Master King of Kings and Lord of Lords Jesus Christ deserves a wonderful showing they have made. God Bless you all. Waiting on the rest of your wonder work.

  12. Mark Rockwood says:

    I hope this series will be more biblically accurate…The Bible series that they produced took too much “artistic” liberties, and the only reason I watched any of it so as I could show others the truth of God’s Word instead of what they portrayed.

  13. Amen!!! Glory Hallelujah!!!

  14. cadavra says:

    Enough already with the sequels! :-D

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