An eerie resemblance between Barack Obama and Satan in the upcoming “Son of God” movie has prompted the film’s producers to completely banish the devil.
Roma Downey, who co-produced the film with her husband Mark Burnett, says scenes with an actor who portrayed the devil but looked like the president have now been edited out.
“It gives me great pleasure to tell you that the devil is on the cutting-room floor. This is now a movie about Jesus, the Son of God, and the devil gets no more screentime,” Downey told the Hollywood Reporter.
The 20th Century Fox film, which opens Feb. 28, is mainly a reworked version of 2013′s popular 10-hour TV miniseries titled “The Bible.”
As WND reported last year, Twitter exploded with comments from viewers who noticed an uncanny similarity between the face of Mr. Obama and that of the Satan character, played by actor Mehdi Ouzaani.
Media giant Glenn Beck was among the first to make the connection, tweeting, “Anyone else think the Devil in #TheBible Sunday on History Channel looks exactly like That Guy?”
Beck refers to Obama as “that guy,” having vowed not to utter the name of the president in all of 2013.
Rush Limbaugh held up a photo of the actor on his famous "Dittocam" to show viewers that the Satan character was "a dead ringer" for Obama.
"Folks, it is uncanny," Limbaugh noted, before quipping, "In light of that picture ... the question that sprang to everybody's mind is: if Satan had a son, would he look like the guy [in the White House]?"
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For this new project, Downey told the Hollywood Reporter she's eager to avoid a similar situation, even though Jesus and Satan both made their appearance in "The Bible" miniseries during the same episode, so it would have made sense that "Son of God" also include Satan.
"Someone made a comment that the actor who played the devil vaguely resembled our president, and suddenly the media went nuts," Downey said Monday. "The next day, when I was sure everyone would only be talking about Jesus, they were talking about Satan instead."
She added: "For our movie, Son of God, I wanted all of the focus to be on Jesus. I want his name to be on the lips of everyone who sees this movie, so we cast Satan out. It gives me great pleasure to tell you that the devil is on the cutting-room floor."
When the devilish controversy initially erupted last year, both Downey and her husband blasted those trumpeting the fiendish resemblance.
"This is utter nonsense," Burnett and Downey said in a joint statement. "The actor who played Satan, Mehdi Ouzaani, is a highly acclaimed Moroccan actor. He has previously played parts in several biblical epics – including Satanic characters long before Barack Obama was elected as our president."
Downey added, "Both Mark and I have nothing but respect and love our president, who is a fellow Christian. False statements such as these are just designed as a foolish distraction to try and discredit the beauty of the story of 'The Bible.'"
The History Channel, which aired the series, added: "History Channel has the highest respect for President Obama. The series was produced with an international and diverse cast of respected actors. It's unfortunate that anyone made this false connection. History's 'The Bible' is meant to enlighten people on its rich stories and deep history."
Burnett told TMZ the devil has stirred the pot and created a false likeness between Obama and the TV devil.
Burnett believes the real devil is frightened that Jesus has now entered the picture of life and is trying to distract from God's message by creating a false story.
"What could be more annoying to Satan than talking about Jesus?" Burnett told TMZ. He added he's confident the real devil's plan of distraction will not work, saying, "We believe in the light."
This is not the first time some in the public have made a connection between evil in the Bible and President Obama.
On Nov. 5, 2008, the very night Obama was first elected president, the Illinois Pick 3 lottery number for the Evening Pick was 666, a number associated with "the beast" mentioned in the Book of Revelation. Obama's home state at the time was Illinois.
In January 2013, WND reported how prophecy websites were having a field day with the worldwide attention Obama received for sparring with a fly.
News reports recounted Obama's long history of attracting flies during recorded interviews and speeches.
Religious and other websites used the headlines to point out that a biblical reference for Satan, the Semitic deity Beelzebub, literally translates from Hebrew into "Lord of the Flies."
As Obama nominated two new members of his second administration on Jan. 24, a swarming fly stole the show.
"This guy is bothering me here," said Obama, who repeatedly swatted at a large black fly buzzing near his face.
The London Telegraph noted a White House pool report said "the president spoke for about five minutes while being menaced by a house fly."
This was not the president's first brush with a fly while the cameras were rolling.
In 2010, Obama halted a speech about health-care reform as a fly zipped around him.
During a June 2009 CNBC interview, Obama killed a fly on camera.
"Get out of here," the president said with his eyes on the fly before the interview began. When the fly persisted, he killed it with a single blow.
"That was pretty impressive, wasn't it?" said Obama of his feat. "I got the sucker."
In a 2008 campaign appearance, Obama halted a local interview after a swarm of flies had gathered around him.
Those reaching to connect Obama's fly troubles with the darkest biblical references won't have much difficulty.
One name commonly used to refer to Satan is Beelzebub, which translates from Hebrew into "Lord of the Flies."
A posting at the popular Free Republic Web forum discusses Beelzebub and asks, "Is the White House fly infestation evidence of demonic presence and influence there?"
The End Times blog named Obama the "Lord of the Flies."
The blog connects Obama to Beelzebub, writing, "This really isn't an academic question. The Lord of the Flies is real."
Over at RevalationNow.net, a posting by "editorial staff" muses about whether Obama is possessed by a demonic entity.
"I feel like I am watching a horror movie and the secret evil character is revealed by the evil signs around him," the post reads.
Beelzebub is first referenced in 2 Kings 1:2-3, 6, 16, in which Beelzebub is described as the god of the Philistine city of Ekron.
Jewish scholars have interpreted the title "Lord of Flies" as the Hebrew way of comparing followers of the Canaanite deity Baal to flies.
The name Beelzebub is found throughout the New Testament, mostly as a reference to the prince of demons.
In Mark 3:22, the Pharisees accuse Jesus of driving out demons by the power of Beelzebub, prince of demons. The name also appears in the expanded version in Matthew 12:24, 27 and Luke 11:15, 18-19.
Beelzebub also makes a cameo as the prince of demons in the Testament of Solomon, a Hellenistic Jewish text.
The extended trailer for "The Bible" miniseries can be seen by clicking on the video below: