Zealot

Culture warriors may dismiss Hollywood as a godless place, but that’s looking increasingly untrue as the trend of Bible-based epics gains speed. The latest to get picked up is Lionsgate’s Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, based on the much-talked-about biography by Reza Aslan.

If that name rings a bell, it may be because Fox News tried to ignite a controversy this summer over the fact that Aslan was a Muslim scholar writing about the founder of Christianity. Hit the jump for all the details on this latest project.

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Noah Ray Winstone

We’re fascinated with Noah, from Darren Aronofsky. The filmmaker has merged the sacred and the profane before, but never on this scale, and rarely for the sort of wide audience that a biblical epic like Noah is likely to draw. And we’re still trying to get a sense of what the film really is — as is Paramount, if reports are any indication. So the trailers so far have been strange, with spatters of character clues and a good hint of spectacle, but I feel like we’re really only seeing a small part of what the film will be.

Below, there’s a new Japanese trailer for Noah, and despite the fact that it is cut for an audience that might not approach the film in the same way a conservative American audience might (and that’s an audience that Paramount very much wants and needs for this movie) it still treads along a path very similar to what’s been used of the domestic sales pitch.

But there’s some new footage here, including a hint or two that the voyage through the flood is particularly rough. Read More »

Son of God

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, which means Christmas isn’t far behind… and what better way to prepare for the holiday than by considering the birthday boy himself? 20th Century Fox has just released a trailer for their new feature Son of God, starring Diogo Morgado as Jesus Christ. Check it out after the jump.

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Heaven Is For Real

What would you do if your kid had a near-death experience and came back to life claiming to have seen heaven? Real-life couple Todd and Sonja Burpo found themselves in exactly that situation, after their four-year-old son Colton barely survived surgery. While the parents were initially unsure what to believe, they eventually came to trust their son’s revelations, and in 2010 the father published the book Heaven Is For Real about the family’s experience.

And now, in 2013, Sony has turned that book into a movie. Greg Kinnear and Kelly Reilly play the mom and dad, while newcomer Connor Corum plays their blessed son. Margo Martindale and Thomas Haden Church also star, and Randall Wallace (Secretariat) directs. Watch the new trailer after the jump.

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Noah Header

Following yesterday’s juicy little teaser, not one but two full-length trailers for Darren Aronofsky‘s Noah have arrived, and you can check out both of them after the jump.

Russell Crowe stars as the familiar Biblical hero, who’s driven by a vision from God to prepare for an upcoming flood that could wipe out all life on Earth. He builds an ark and begins to round up the animals, but not everyone (including villain Ray Winstone) is on board with his plan.

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Noah sunset

Paramount and Darren Aronofsky were still sparring over the third act of Noah, last we heard, but with the Biblical epic scheduled for a spring release it’s about time for the first trailer to land. Which, per the modern movie marketing playbook, means they’re starting off with a trailer for the trailer.

The clip is less than 20 seconds long, but it makes the most of that time. You’ve got Russell Crowe as Noah considering his visions, a few lovely shots of the ark, quick peeks at co-stars Jennifer Connelly and Logan Lerman, and more. Check it out after the jump.

[Update: A new poster has also been revealed -- see it after the jump!]

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Noah Set 1

That Noah, a historical epic about a man on a boat with dozens, perhaps hundreds, of different kinds of animals, would require lots of effects work is no surprise. Particularly when the director behind it is Darren Aronofsky, whose striking visual sense has made him a favorite among cinephiles. But even so, you may be surprised to hear just how much work went into creating this thing.

All of Noah’s animals are digital creations, and because there’s so many of them the wizards at Industrial Light & Magic had their work cut out for them. According to Aronofsky, one shot in particular earned him the “badge of honor” of having the most complex effects shot in ILM’s history. Hit the jump to read his comments.

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Jesus

Biblical adventures are the new fairy tales, at least when it comes to Hollywood. As evidenced by the upcoming releases of Darren Aronofsky’s Noah and Ridley Scott’s Exodus, religious epics are the newest trend to take Hollywood by storm.

The latest filmmaker to jump on that bandwagon is Waterworld director Kevin Reynolds, who’ll the Jesus Christ pic The Resurrection. The project is described as being similar to Ridley Scott’s Gladiator in tone, only family-friendly and with more mystery. (So maybe not that much like Gladiator after all, then.) Hit the jump for plot details and more.

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