For better or for worse, The Bible mini series has made people realize that there is big money to be made by bringing the stories in the Scriptures “to life”.
Enter Noah. Directed by Darren Aronofsky who directed Black Swan which earned him a best director nomination at the 2011 Oscars. He’s got Russell Crowe (who won an Oscar for his lead role in 2000’s Gladiator) and Jennifer Connelly who won an Oscar playing opposite of Crowe in 2002’s A Beautiful Mind (but my favorite role will always be her role as Sarah in Jim Henson’s 1986 movie Labyrinth). The two are set to play the title character of Noah and his wife. He’s also got legendary actor Sir Anthony Hopkins as Methuselah, Emma Watson (who is going to be a star despite her Harry Potter roots) and Logan Lerman – an up and coming actor who is also more than his Percy Jackson role would suggest.
The movie portrays one of the most famous Old Testament stories involving Noah, a flood, a big boat, and a whole lot of animals.
Also in the works is a movie based on the Old Testament book of Exodus called (wait for it…) Exodus staring Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul as Moses’ right hand man, Joshua and as the tablet carrying Moses we have the pre-Aflack Batman, Christian Bale.
So Bible movies and tv shows are more than just Kirk Cameron vehicles now. The big budgets and big named actors are bringing with them a legitimacy. No more complaining that movies about Christianity are poorly acted and have small budgets. But that got me thinking…is this a good thing or a bad thing? Here’s the breakdown as I see it.
It gets people talking about the Bible. It can’t get much better than that.
It brings Christianity back into the conversation as a legitimate worldview among those who have abandoned it completely. Because Russell Crowe wouldn’t be in if it weren’t true, right?
It has the potential to teach VERY bad theology. Like the Bible mini series, it is possible (and likely) that screenwriters are going to have to add conversations and suggest motives that we don’t really see in Scripture. That can be a really bad thing. The Bible mini series made God seem like an unloving, impersonal god who was really into smiting.
The movies and tv shows are not to replace the Scriptures as our source of truth about God. Because of that, we have to take the movies with a grain of salt.
What this resurgence of faith and film is going to come down to is that it needs to drive us back to the Scriptures for the real story. Movie versions are cool to have and see some moments how they could have been. These movies are going to open the opportunity for a lot of Christians to talk about faith and God. But we cannot have conversations about God that don’t involve His Word which is the best way to see who He really is.
Embrace the resurgence.
Test the message.
Engage the conversation.