A new movie about Jesus is being made by the producer of American Psycho, the director of Showgirls, and the writer of Pulp Fiction.
What could go wrong?
Well, lots. According to Deadline, the movie will be based on a book that director Paul Verhoeven wrote that discounts all the miracles that inform the New Testament. "Verhoeven doesn’t believe any of them happened" writes Deadline.
The book turned movie will declare that Jesus might have been the product of his mother being raped by a Roman soldier, Jesus was not the Son of God, and Jesus was simply a radical who was convinced he would find the kingdom of Heaven on earth.
It seems that once again we have the specter of Jesus as political leader rearing his head.
“If you look at the man, it’s clear you have a person who was completely innovative in the field of ethics,” Verhoeven told Deadline. “My own passion for Jesus came when I started to realize that. It’s not about miracles, it’s about a new set of ethics, an openness towards the world, which was anathema in a Roman-dominated world. I believe he was crucified because they felt that politically, he was a dangerous person whose following was getting bigger and bigger. "
Ah yes. The people who surrounded Jesus got it all wrong but 2,000 years later the director of Showgirls divines the truth out of it.
This isn't even anything new -as if we looked to Hollywood for anything new. CS Lewis famously wrote of this line of thinking:
I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: 'I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God.' That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic -- on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg -- or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.
I could go on and on about how trying to make Jesus into a political leader is just silliness. But come on, this is the director of Showgirls and Basic Instinct. This is a director whose most famous scene is getting a woman to uncross her legs for a zoom lense. This is a guy who tried to cash in on convincing a tween star to disrobe. This is a stunt. He's not a director. He's PT Barnum. Without all the scruples.
And he wants everyone to be outraged and he wants the media to glorify him as a controversial brilliant artiste and he wants Hollywood to call him daring, and he wants money. Lots. I suspect that in the end, this movie will be a horrible box office bomb. But hey, it might just get an Oscar nomination for Pamela Anderson or whoever he casts in this debacle.