(RNS) Christian leaders, including megachurch pastor Rick Warren, plan to rent every screen in numerous multiplex theaters across 10 cities for the premiere of Mark Burnett and Roma Downey’s upcoming Jesus film, “Son of God,” on Feb. 27.

Diogo Morgado plays Jesus in "Son of God". Photo courtesy Lightworkers Media

Diogo Morgado plays Jesus in “Son of God.” Photo courtesy of Lightworkers Media


This image is available for Web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

The unusual move reflects the confidence Christian leaders have in Burnett and Downey’s work in the wake of “The Bible,” a hit miniseries on the History channel.

The “Son of God,” an adaption from “The Bible” series, opens in theaters nationwide Feb. 28.

Many religious leaders are citing the movie as a natural opportunity to evangelize. Warren may have a vested interest in the film, since he wrote a curriculum tied to the movie and published by LifeWay Christian Resources.

Cinemark Theaters is scheduling a few large-scale buyouts on Feb. 27, said James Meredith, head of marketing and communications.

“The interest level for meetings, events, screenings and buyouts seems to be on par with that of major blockbuster, tentpole or franchise movies,” said Meredith.

The couple behind the show, producer Burnett and former “Touched by an Angel” star Downey, have enlisted interdenominational support from religious leaders such as Texas megachurch pastor T.D. Jakes and Roman Catholic Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles.

The couple has also tapped Compassion International, a large evangelical relief organization, to distribute tickets to churches. The couple are close with Houston megachurch leaders Joel and Victoria Osteen, who flew to Morocco to see the filming and have bought 8,000 tickets to distribute.

Roma Downey and Mark Burnett with the cast and crew while filming "Son of God." Photo courtesy Lightworkers Media

Roma Downey and Mark Burnett with the cast and crew while filming “Son of God.” Photo courtesy Lightworkers Media


This image is available for Web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

Burnett, who has produced shows like “Survivor,” “The Voice” and “Shark Tank,” said he’s never seen a buyout before.

“There aren’t many things that could garner this kind of support,” Burnett said. “People are going to watch the movie collectively, in community.”

After Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” made $612 million, observers expected to see more films about Jesus. Several upcoming Bible-related films are now in the pipeline.

LD Entertainment is backing the upcoming film ”Resurrection,” a drama set immediately after Jesus’ death. American Trademark Pictures is set to release “The Resurrection of the Christ.” And the nonprofit In Jesus’ Name Productions is planning to release a film on the life of Jesus called “The Messiah.”

While evangelicals are often credited with shoring up support for movies like “The Passion of the Christ” and “Fireproof,” Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl has commissioned discussion guides and videos for Catholic churches and schools, and Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami is planning to rent a theater for thousands of Catholics in Miami.

Several business leaders are also donating tickets to churches and nonprofits, including Mart Green, heir to the Hobby Lobby family of companies.

The film is about two hours long, featuring actor Diogo Morgado playing Jesus during his life, crucifixion and resurrection. Downey plays Mary, the mother of Jesus. Recording artist CeeLo Green, who stars on “The Voice,” will sing “Mary, Did You Know?” during the closing credits.

YS/AMB END BAILEY

42 Comments

  1. Wait … did I read this correctly? Did Hollywood produce a movie about Jesus? I hadn’t thought any such thing was possible. After all, isn’t Hollywood anti-Christian (see http://www.americanthinker.com/2014/02/evangelicals_alone_and_exiled_in_hollywood.html among others)?

  2. Oh great, another tall handsome Jesus with perfect teeth and long flowing locks of hair reminiscent of a shampoo commercial. Why can’t the Son of God be portrayed as more average looking or even slightly ugly?

    • Have you seen the Last Temptation of Christ?

      Willem Defoe was hardly tall or handsome. His hair wasn’t even that long. He looked closer to someone’s alcoholic redneck uncle than say Max Von Sydow’s blond blue eyed savior from The Greatest Story Ever Told.

    • Deacon John M. Bresnahan

      Conundrum–Excellent points.
      Why does the actor picked to portray Jesus always talk breathlessly and look like a Norwegian instead of a Middle Easterner.
      The only man who I liked in the Jesus roll was Jim Caviezel (Of Gibson’s “The Passion of Christ”) who is now the star of a top rated crime-adventure series called “Person of Interest.” All the other actors who played Jesus struck me as being a bit too effeminate and they mostly disappeared from the movies.
      I haven’t seen “Noah” but I think I would like to see-for a change- someone like Russell Crowe play Jesus on the screen.

    • Exactly. The Bible is very clear about the unappealing looks of Jesus. If it didn’t matter, the Bible wouldn’t have described it as such. However, the issue is with human beings. We judge according to appearance. The movie makers also need to reach as much of the public as they can to make money, so the tall, dark, and extremely handsome Jesus wins out over the unappealing one.

  3. Wonderful to see another religious movie!
    Why would an Atheist love Jesus movies?
    Because it sends young people to Google to find out more about Jesus, his teachings and the Bible.…

    NOTHING is better than that!

    Fifteen minutes later they are Atheists.
    It is a beautiful thing :)

    • @ Atheist Max, since you are so sure of your position, why not set up an evangelical outreach where people can be introduced to the Bible and our Lord Jesus (without your spin ofcourse) and lets see if millions will not fall in love with our Savior and redeemer, Jesus Christ. Yea, please produce a wonderful movie such as the above and introduce people to Christ. God bless you.

      • PETER,
        I don’t have to set up any Evangelical outreach to help me create Atheists. It happens every minute of every day on TV and Fox News.
        Religion is dying because people can’t stop blabbing about Jesus.

        The story is not coherent to modern young people:
        So God sends himself to earth to die on a common torture device to save humanity from…His own laws? In effect giving humans a get out of jail card?

        This is a self-cancelling theory. An ancient cultural superstition.
        Very unlikely to be true.

  4. Marketing christianity is a real money maker. I’m sure just like normal church services the believers will all show up to watch this fictional movie all decked out in their fancy “Sunday” best duds, and drop even more coin to buy plenty of hot dogs, popcorn and soda as well.

    Even the mega church perpetually smiling (why shouldn’t he be?) Joel “salesman” Olsteen and his wife found time to leave their French decorated mansion and hope onto his private jet (http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0%2C%2C20170936%2C00.html) and fly to Morocco to see this movie. I wonder if he forced his children to leave the custom built tree house, that looks over the fenced in “mini yard” daddy had made just for their pet rabbits, to see this movie as well?

    Yea, P.T. Barnum was right, so their will always be sheep willing to be sheared, and that means that $elling the fantasy of eternal life will always be a money maker.

    Yes, god is good $tuff.

    Religion is truly poisonous!!

    • I am a member of the Catholic church.Here, our pastor and priest takes a vow of poverty.He serves, helps, and loves all day long.There is no mansion,or any exploitation.He gives freely, and works 12 +hour days.and no, he is not a pedophile either.Just because a few sick people are out there you cannot blame all priests.There are sick people in all areas of life.
      Even more importantly-I was very depressed, near suicidal.15 years ago I gave Christianity a chance.wasnt so sure….but after some deep and heartfelt searching I found miracles,faith, and a lasting peace that I had never known.
      This is NOT a placebo or just a desire to make up something in my head.
      This was outside of myself!!!!!
      you have to be humble, even broken.Seek with your whole heart-then God will show you his face.

    • There is no copyright infringement problem with a Bible story.
      That is HUGE for business.

      It is great when you can make a lot of money and you don’t have to pay the writer ;-)

  5. FALSE RELIGION is truly poisonous…. makes lots of $$ too! Jesus said, “you received free, give free.” (Matthew 10:8) These false Christians will be rewarded for their works… but not in the way they would want. If people are foolish enough to keep putting money in the pockets of these charlatans, this CRAP will continue to be produced. I, for one, will NOT be going to ANY movies about God, the Bible, Jesus or (their version) of religion. It’s all TWISTED beyond recognition… NO THANK YOU!

    • Thank you I’m am glad to know that others have a spirit of discernment. How can they allow Cee Lo Green to perform the song? He is an abomination. He had a song out called F@$! You. It’s sickening.

  6. The Christian Church in America is dead and asleep. The producers of this movie go see Obama with the so called National Prayer Brunch. and the plan is gather all the Christians in the movie theaters its like sheep to the death camps and they can’t see it. Last year I gave a prophecy on my radio program www.propheticwatchmanvine.com about a fish kill in Rick Warren Church and also mention Joel Osteen a week later Warren son takes out gun shoots himself. Warren is for banning guns after that. The Church is a non Prophet Org. they kick out the real prophets and en-braced the pillow state run false teachers. Another death march rising up in America upon the Christian Church very soon. Christian leaders in America are blind with the A& E Harlot churches. The fish kill prophecy is ready to happen in America. Could it be this event? it won’t be long.

    • Matthew,

      You think the problem is “False teachers…” but…
      What would a True teacher look like in a school of fairy stories?

      If true teaching were possible there would only be one form of Christianity instead of thousands.

      • @Atheist Max- There are false teachers with many “agendas” that’s why there are so many sects of Christianity today. They don’t care about truth, just money and perpetuating their control over the masses. There are those who are teaching in line with truth in every nation… soon there will be ONLY ONE form of Christianity. God will show everyone who His true servants are. In that future day, there will be no mistaking who has the truth. I hope you are there to see it too. Then you will know the Bible is not “fairy-tales”. False teachings have your perception twisted too. You think God sent himself to earth to die on a torture stake to save people from His laws. That is the ultimate “false teachings”. If you believe God is cruel and a trinity that would sound about right. God and Jesus aren’t the same person. Jesus didn’t sacrifice his life to save us from God’s laws. He died as a perfect man so he could ransom us from sin and death which we all inherited from Adam. Adam condemned all humanity, Jesus bought us back. That’s LOVE. I know you don’t believe any of this but I just wanted you to have a correct scenario. Truth instead of lies told to you by false teachers.

        • CMR,

          You sound like a man who tells everyone he has incredibly beautiful young girlfriend but nobody has met her, seen her, heard her voice or even knows her name.

          Then you add, “and she hasn’t been born yet.”

          Well. I’m impressed.

        • CMR,
          “Adam condemned all humanity, Jesus bought us back.”

          Yes.
          All-knowing, All-powerful God created Adam knowing he would sin. God thereby condemned mankind to Hell.

          Then God changed his mind, but not completely.
          To save men from Hell he turned into a man, died on a torture device, and went back up to Heaven where He started in the first place.

          It was all the same guy.

          We are still doomed to Hell. But if we believe the story that God went through this process He will let us go to Heaven with Him.
          Right after we are dead.

          Primitive nonsense.

  7. Edward Borges-Silva

    As I peruse various Christian and religious websites, I am puzzled as to why they are so infested (I can think of no other word) with Atheists, Secularists, and Evolutionists. For example, since Evolutionists decried Bill Nye’s willingness to debate Ken Ham; i.e. “There’s nothing to debate…”, I wonder that they don’t follow their own counsel? Ath./Sec./Evo’s shouldn’t find anything on these sites to hold their interest. This leads me to only two possible conclusions: (1) Their efforts arise out of a desire to simply make pests of themselves, or (2) Subconsciously they entertain inner doubts of what they so stoutly aver. It is most likely a combination of the two. Their arguments are often specious, riddled with logical fallacies, and typically unsupported by objective evidence.

    • Edward Borges-Silva,

      Or (3) perhaps Atheists, like most other folks, just find that most news is religious in nature!

      $100 million was sent to Israel last year – ONE YEAR – by Evangelicals to help settlers steal land from Palestinians in hopes it will bring the 2nd coming of Christ with the rise of ‘the second temple’. A fatuous theory that Christ would wait for dollars concrete…but there you go. $100 million says it will work.

      The entire budget for the campaign by American Atheists
      to question these sorts of ridiculous activities amounted to under $1 million.

      And we are the pests?

      • EdwardBorges-Silva

        Obviously, I can’t speak for each individual conscience. And I grant that an attempt to force God’s hand by anyone, whatever their spiritual inclination, is absurd. But your contention that all or most news is religious remains subject to doubt. But as you are a self declared atheist, I offer this proof of God’s existence. “The invisible things of God are clearly evident in the works of His creation, and this knowledge is placed in the heart of men, though many choose to reject the testimony of their own soul.” A loose paraphrase in the vernacular from a passage in the Book of Romans. By observation and experience I have found this declaration to be true. But it
        is only “provable” to those who are willing to assess what they observe, objectively. I resent the charge by atheists that I am an unthinking superstitious dupe relying on a myth. I have arrived at my beliefs by careful and cautious study, I too once rejected the declarations of the bible, but unrelenting examination of the text, combined with reflections on the observable patterns of human behavior helped to convince me of it’s veracity. I do not wish to be trite or condescending, but Christians (whose fundamental beliefs are true) remain subject to human frailty and human fault. The true Christian knows this and makes account before God and humanity for it. I have yet to meet an atheist with this sense of humility.

  8. EdwardBorges-Silva,

    You claim God exists certain of your personal testimony of God.

    Consider that the same religious thought circle is what Muslims
    are experiencing in their own heads about Mohammed and Allah. They deny your Jesus rose from the dead vehemently.

    The Muslim and the Christian are convinced the other is wrong about God.

    But each ‘knows in their heart’ that they are absolutely right.
    What tools did God give us to sort out these deep convictions of personal testimony?

    It seems that “knowing in your heart” cannot be useful if it validates the opposing side as well as your own.

    • Edward Borges-Silva

      What makes the argument so compelling is the difference in the character of the teachings of Christ vs all His competitors. A thorough and objective survey of the ‘great’ moral and spiritual teachers in human history reveals, for breadth of scope, insight to the human condition, the call to forebearance and compassion, the emphasis on personal accountability, and a host of other subtle points of philosophy, none can compare to Jesus of Nazareth. The failure of His disciples to emulate Him perfectly takes nothing away from His declarations. Ultimately, time will determine whether you or I will be vindicated. If I may paraphrase Blaise Pascal, the French mathematician: If you are right and I am wrong, I risk nothing, BUT, if I am right and you are wrong, you risk everything. And this concludes my contribution to this particular thread. Thank you

      • EDWARD,
        You herald the virtues of “Christ vs. all His competitors.”
        The Muslim heralds the virtues of Allah in the same way. Jesus loses.
        Hindus do the same with Ganesha. Jesus and Mohammed lose.

        As for Pascal’s wager, it pretends that God – if he exists – would never catch on that you are faking it. That is a very low opinion of your god.

        And you do pay a huge price for faking it. You risk everything.
        The worst that will happen to me is God will have to thank me for at least being honest. Hell is not in my future.

        • Atheist Max
          Your assumption that those who believe in the claims of Christianity are faking is comes off as arrogant. I assume you really don’t believe in the existence of God, I would not say you are faking it. Since you do not mind believing in some things without evidence (ie. that Christians are faking it) it is interesting that you call others who believe things based on faith primitive.
          I do however believe I have plenty of evidence for my beliefs, what evidence do you have for your beliefs?

  9. The movie Son of God, does it mean that Jesus is the only Son of God like in the Bible, or is it a New Age Jesus? Meaning He was the first, and you can be Just like him a Son of God? Why wasn’t the movie called, The Son of God?
    Is Jesus dying for sins of his people? Or is is dying on the cross in this movie and meaning because he died on the cross, now there is no more sin?
    Is Son of God the movie, a New Age movie?

    • Yes James. The Son of God is a false Jesus that the apostle Paul and others warned about in the Bible including Jesus himself. There is a massive spiritual delusion taking place upon the earth that has been unleashed which the god of this world has been given free reign to unleash the hords of hell and darkness who have the ability to transform themselves as angles of light. The whole world including all religions are defining this by the same buzzwords as a “Great Awakening”. Jesus said (when asked in Matthew 24 by his disciples what the begining of the end would look): “Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name saying I am Christ and shall deceive many. And many false prophets shall rise and deceive many. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets; and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” (Matt. 24:5; 24:11; 24:24)

      The cold hard truth is that Roma Downey and her husband Mark are not born again believers and are preaching another Jesus and another gospel. How do I know this? Because Roma Downey was raised in the false Roman Catholic Church and religion and was taught by nuns about the false catholic Jesus and the worship of Mary (necromancy). After graduating from John-Rogers new age spritual enlightenment center (“USM, University of Santa Monica) in 2010 this “other Jesus” (false lying spirit) supposedly told her and her husband to go out and make this false jesus popular and wonderfully acceptable to to the whole world and to “raise their christ conciousness”. She and her husband have completely taken many scriptures out context and have added and subtracted from the Word of God and put words in their false christs mouth that are nowhere to be found in the bible. They have distorted the holy word of God and have handled it deceitfully. Paul spoke of and warned of these many false teachers and wanna be apostles in the church of Corinth in his 2nd epistle, Chapter 2:12 and 4:2. He emphatically declares “For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ. But (we) have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.”

      Roma and her husband are making millions of dollars all in the the name of their false fleshly jesus while the simple minded (who are completely ignorant and oblivious to satans devices) are being seduced and led straight to the hirelings shearers and then to the ecumenical spiritual slaughter house where their faith is then shipwrecked. The apostle John in his old age gave us these repeated stern warnings that he heard with his own ears and was an eye witness to Jesus teachings in Matthew 24: “Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. Little children, let no man deceive you.” (1 John 2:18; 2:26; 3:7).

      Does not the apostle Peter give us additional warnings In 1 Peter 2, 2:1-3 about these false teachers such as Downey and Burnett who are fleecing the flock and charging money for their supposed “gospel” which is no gospel at all? “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.” The Bible is very clear that “MANY” (not just some) will follow their pernicious ways. Here are the words of the “real Jesus” as recording in Matthew 7:13-15 and what He has to say on this very subject which Peter simply repeated: “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” Again Jesus said “Many” which when millions are suddenly flocking to a Hollywood jesus its a clear indicator it’s most likely a false christ and another gospel. Take heed bible believers. In these last days we are warned by the apostle Peter in 1 Pet. 5:8-9 to be aware and to “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour, Whom resist stedfast in the faith”.

      If any of you don’t believe me that Roma Downey is a new ager just google Roma Downey University of Santa Monica. Jump on the USM website and look at its Founder, John-Roger and the many new age teachers and guest speakers. Google John-Roger the founder (John-Roger is his dual spirit guide name) and MSIA (Movement of Spritual Inner Awareness).

      In Roma Downeys own words (her purpose for the miniseries and movies including her interpretation of what the message of the bible is to the world – which is what she learned at USM): “I don’t have to work. I’m very blessed, very fortunate. So my passion, my purpose is to be involved with things that uplift and open people’s hearts and raise their consciousness,” she says. “And the message, ultimately, of the Bible, the message of Jesus, is, ‘Can’t we all see that spark of light in each other, which is God — respect each other and love each other and get along together?”.
      http://www.creators.com/lifestylefeatures/fashion-and-entertainment/hollywood-exclusive/mark-steines-glad-to-trade-black-tie-for-blue-jeans-et-for-hc-unforgettable-andy-williams.html

      Barbara Marx Hubbard, a well know new ager is a frequent guest speaker and teacher at USM and imparts her enlightenment teachings to the students and faculty which she has done so for many years. Consider Hubbards teachings in line with Roma’s statement above on concious evolution and the “inner spark” that supposedly each human has and needs to be made conciously aware of and awaken to the devine within:
      http://www.awaken.com/2013/12/interview-with-barbara-marx-hubbard-2/

      Here is what a true messenger of God sounds like in sincerity, honestly, and simplicity (Paul’s 2nd epistle to the Cornthia s): “Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed: But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.”

      Bible believers, we have the inspired Holy infallible Inherent Word Of God which contains all that we need for training in righteousness and godly living. Roma and her Husband are using a pagan avenue to bring another jesus, a false new age christ conciousness to the world and are re-writing God word and taking away from it bring a curse upon themselves. Roma is corrupting and polluting the pure Word of God with the heresies she learned at USM and the Catholic Church.

      The Apostle Paul continues with the Church of Corinth: ” But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we. For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”

      To my true Brothers and Sisters in the Common Faith in and through our Lord Jesus Christ I end with these same words from Paul the Apostle concerning your yoking and joining ecumenically with those who are luring you to the new age jesus of Roma Downey:

      “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
      Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” 2 Cor. 6:14-18

  10. Atheist Max and all you other skeptics, When you know the Truth, the Truth will set you free. It’s your fear and pride that is keeping you from accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. He is the only Truth this world will ever know. I will pray for you……

  11. This is a beautiful film, full of inspiration and hope and true word of Christ. We were fortunate enough to be invited to a preview showing! If you love the film, we think you’ll love www.sonofgodjewelry.com. Special sale to celebrate the premiere!

  12. I really liked the Son of God movie. Thank you to all who put so much of bringing the English version of our Lord and Savior Jesus and what He did to save us. God loves us so much and I believe that this movie will draw people from all walks of life to our saving Jesus.

    My favorite movies about the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior are Jesus of Nazereth with Robert Powell as Jesus, Mel Gibson’s Passion of The Christ, and the new Son of God movie.

    I pray that many people are saved and brought into a loving relationship with God in Jesus Name. Amen

  1. […] While evangelicals are often credited with shoring up support for movies like “The Passion of the Christ” and “Fireproof,” Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl has commissioned discussion guides and videos for Catholic churches and schools, and Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami is planning to rent a theater for thousands of Catholics in Miami. (Religion News) […]

  2. […] While evangelicals are often credited with shoring up support for movies like “The Passion of the Christ” and “Fireproof,” Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl has commissioned discussion guides and videos for Catholic churches and schools, and Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami is planning to rent a theater for thousands of Catholics in Miami. (Religion News) […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments with many links may be automatically held for moderation.