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Tom Sherak Advising Mark Burnett, Roma Downey on ‘Son of God’ Pact

Film distrib vet working with 'Bible' producers as theatrical deal heats up

As Mark Burnett and Roma Downey step up the process of securing a theatrical distributor for “Son of God,” the feature derived from the pair’s 10-hour miniseries “The Bible,” the two have enlisted the help of  industry vet Tom Sherak to evaluate the offers that are flowing in.

Burnett and Downey control the movie rights to the “Bible” property outright after producing the mini independently through their Lightworkers Media banner. From the start, the duo envisioned the project as also yielding a cut-down version for theatrical release in the U.S. and in international markets.

After “Bible” bowed last March to big ratings, plenty of distribs have been knocking on their door to handle the theatrical on the pic titled “Son of God.” “Bible” has also been a powerhouse performer on homevid and is nommed for 10 Emmy Awards, including best miniseries. Pic is targeted for a March release to coincide with Easter.

Given the praise that “Bible” garnered from spiritual leaders, “Son of God” is well positioned to be a B.O. hit with auds who actively seek out faith-based entertainment, as well as other demo groups. A deal is expected to come together in the next few weeks, if not sooner. Homevid distribution for “Bible” is already handled by Fox Home Entertainment.

Sherak, a distribution vet of Fox and Revolution Studios and past prexy of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, is advising Burnett and Downey through his Revolution Consulting Services shingle. Burnett and Downey have long resumes in TV but little experience in the feature arena. The two were put in touch with Sherak by a mutual friend, Jeffrey Katzenberg, who worked with Burnett on the boxing reality series “The Contender.”

Sherak and reps for Burnett and Downey declined comment.

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