Movies about inarguably the most famous person in the world have done pretty well for themselves over the eons – from “King of Kings” in 1961 to “The Greatest Story Ever Told” in 1965 to “Jesus of Nazareth” in 1977 to “The Jesus Film” in 1979 to “The Passion of the Christ” in 2004.
Now, what’s being billed as the first, full-length, 360-degree virtual-reality film is debuting this month at the Raindance Film Festival in London and it’s about you-know-who.
In fact, “7 Miracles” is based on the Gospel of John.
Vive Studios, the creative arm of HTC Vive, announced the film has been nominated for the festival’s Grand Jury Prize for Best Immersive Story.
According to one critic who proclaims it “good,” just like God proclaimed His own creation, the film is a seven-part VR experience that allows users equipped with headsets to immerse themselves, enabling them to walk around and see the characters from any angle they choose.
“We are thrilled to push the boundaries of story-telling in VR with ‘7 Miracles,’” said Joel Breton of Vibe Studios. “Our amazing film-production team has worked tirelessly to pioneer the technology for cinematic virtual reality and to bring the viewers back in time to experience the miracles of Jesus for themselves.”
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The movie will release on “all major headsets” later this year, according to industry announcements. But first it will hit Raindance from Sept. 26 through Oct. 7.
Adding to the intrigue of the movie is the fact that there’s always been some controversy about what the seven miracles of John’s Gospel are because there are arguably more than seven. Only the first two are numbered in the book.
John 20:30-31 concludes: “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”
Most of the shooting of the movie took place in Rome and Matera, where “The Passion of the Christ” was shot, with the support of Italy’s Lucana Film Commission.
Jesus is played by Serbian actor Dejan Bucin, while John has the face of Italian Lorenzo Balducci.
The film’s production budget was 3 million euros, almost $3.5 million dollars.
“Working on this project has been a wonderful experience for me and my team. This new cinematic VR technology has given my team and me a chance to create and tell more personal and intimate stories,” said Enzo Sisti, executive producer. “I’m very proud of our work.”
“7 Miracles” was directed by Rodrigo Cerqueira (“Jesus VR: The Story of Christ”) and co-directed by Marco Spagnoli. The film was produced by Enzo Sisti (“Aquaman,” “Wonder Woman,” “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and “The Passion of the Christ”) and Vive Studios’ Joel Breton (“Pirates of the Caribbean”).