(Juicy Ecumenism) -- Chances are that if you liked The Bible miniseries that aired on The History Channel last year, you’ll like the upcoming film Son of God. The film, composed of scenes from the miniseries focusing on the life of Jesus Christ, is due for a theatrical release on February 28. The original miniseries was a smash hit, reaching over 100 million cumulative viewers and setting TV-to-DVD records.
Now, married Christian producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey hope to repeat the same success with Son of God. But fans of the original miniseries will notice that one crucial character has been cut out of the film entirely: the Devil. “It gives me great pleasure to tell you that the devil is on the cutting-room floor.” Downey said in a statement, “This is now a movie about Jesus, the son of God, and the devil gets no more screen time.”
When The Bible first aired, the scenes with Satan tempting Jesus in the wilderness went viral due to actor Mohamen Mehdi Ouazanni’s uncanny resemblance to President Obama (you can judge for yourself using the photo above). The miniseries’ producers were forced to address the controversy by saying any resemblance was coincidental. “Both Mark and I have nothing but respect and love our President, who is a fellow Christian,” Downey said at the time. In light of the controversy last year, some might sat the removal of Ouazanni’s scenes makes business sense and maybe even evangelical sense. The political controversy would distract from the producers’ stated goal of bringing the message of Jesus Christ to the masses.
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