The Jesus Seminar's Upcoming Jesus Movie

Ah . . . the Jesus Seminar. Given the bombastic, pseudo-intellectual tirades of such luminaries as Sam Harris, I was beginning to miss the annual pronouncements of disbelief in all things New Testament by this collection of radical scholars. Almost . . . .

Now, comes a story from Cinema Blend about a new movie that may be in the works: Christ, the Man. The director of this new epic? Paul Verhoeven, member of the Westar Institute, aka, The Jesus Seminar. Yes, the director of that NC-17 movie Showgirls, is considering taking the myth of the non-God Jesus being foisted upon the public by the Jesus Seminar and turning it into another movie.

The rumor comes from the frequently unreliable guys at WENN, so don’t believe it until someone else confirms it, but it is true that there has long been talk of Paul working on such a film. The working title once rumored for it was Christ, the Man, and apparently there’s now some movement on the whole thing again. The current incarnation is supposed tell Jesus’s story as if he’s not a god made man flesh but instead just a dude. Verhoeven plans to completely ignore all the superstitious mumbo jumbo surrounding him and focus on Big J as a guy navigating the complex political and social landscape of his time.

It seems that the boobs, guns, and gore director has an insatiable interest in the Christ figure. He’s a member of the Jesus Seminar, a group of scholars who use historical methods to determine who Jesus was. One problem though. He’s afraid it’ll get him lynched.

He reportedly tells Empire Magazine, "My scriptwriter told me not to do the movie in the United States because they (Christians) might shoot me. It's not a joke at all. I took that very seriously. So I took his advice and decided to write a book about it first."

Well, Mr. Vehoeven (who has directed some pretty good movies at times such as Total Recall) doesn't have to worry about being shot by anyone associated with this site. Personally, I doubt he really needs to worry about being shot by any Christian if he makes this movie. That's just part of the "Christians are unthinking fanatics" erroneous view of Christianity that is held by the areligious people in this country (which is being promoted by such luminaries as Sam Harris). No, I think that virtually every Christian recognizes and supports his right to say whatever he wants to say regardless of how wrong. If he wants to make a bad movie misrepresenting Jesus (which is being preceded by a bad book misrepresenting Jesus) he has the right to do so (provided he can find people willing to fund this type of misrepresentation). But if he does make this movie and write this book then I do reserve the right to ridicule them on the basis that they are wrong, to refuse to spend our money to see them, to encourage other people to refuse to see it, and to encourage everyone to withhold buying products or services from anyone who supports the writing, filming and distribution of these works.


Jason Pratt said…
This thing is still alive?? Yeesh...

(Uh... Paul... it's been done already. There's even a hugely popular musical about it. It's still hugely popular. Pretty good about summarizing the socio-political navigation, too. {g})

Oh, well. I guess it hasn't been done _lately_, and something else has. I like to think that part of the reason he hasn't made it yet (seems like I've been hearing about this for 10 years now), is because his comrades can't figure out which revisionist Jesus ought to be in the film. {wry g} But it'll get made sooner or later if he keeps at it, and we can have more debate fodder. It's annoying, but Gibson's film was annoying for a lot of people, too. So, fair's fair.
BK said…
I like to think that part of the reason he hasn't made it yet (seems like I've been hearing about this for 10 years now), is because his comrades can't figure out which revisionist Jesus ought to be in the film. {wry g}

That's a priceless comment. Thanks for the laugh.
Jason Pratt said…

Well, since he has a book now, one would suppose that he has exercised his privilege as director and line-producer (and screenwriter?) to land on a particular version of revisionist history. Solidly enough to make for a coherent story anyway. (Um. Robocop coherent. Not Showgirls coherent, we shall hope... Does Starship Troopers count as coherent?--like the NT it was written originally by someone other than Verhoeven... Ditto for Total Recall.)

It _can_ be done, of course (Lloyd Webber proved _that_.) It just requires not going any further than the cross. But all that stuff about how the followers got from one thing to another would probably be boring anyway.

Or maybe not. First, all the disciples have to Ascend into heaven instead of Jesus, so that the oral tradition will be passed along by anonymous Mr. Nobodies... {g} (There could be scenes of these anonymous Mr.Ns slapping away styluses and such from anyone who might be interested enough in what they're saying to, y'know, write it down somewhere. Comic value!)

Now that I think of it, I'm kind of perversely eager to see what happens. (Um. Robocop perverse. Not Showgirls perverse... {g})

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