Firstly, the Breitbart article that I discussed a few days ago has disappeared, although it's still available at Islam Online. Secondly, the story has been followed up by an article in Variety which includes the following quotation:
"It is important to show our history before the Islamic revolution," said CMI managing director Mohammed Reza Abbasian. "These episodes of religious history and Iranian history are very popular with Iranian audiences. We want to show the opinions of Islam toward the prophet. This story came from the Koran without any changes. You could call it Jesus through Islam's lens."But then the article also goes on to discuss the next project by Iran's state broadcaster Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcastingand its production and sales arm Cima Media Intl.
CMI execs have even bigger plans for their follow-up skein, a $20 million version of the life of Joseph and his multi-colored coat, helmed by Farajollah Salahshoor, that is set to be one of Iran's biggest-budget productions ever.I imagine this will be a more serious take on it than Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat. It'll be interesting to find out how the Joseph story varies in the Koran, and also whether the "coat of many colours" features, given that biblical scholars now consider that particular phrase a mis-translation (it should be coat with long sleeves or something along those lines).
The costly skein could be described as a passion project for its producers, as they will have little chance to ever recoup their money back from foreign sales.
"We have tried to sell it to Arab TV stations, but they say that they cannot show the face of the prophets, and, at the same time, it's not good for European TV," said Abbasian. "The Iranian government is spending its money on the project, but it wasn't supposed to cost this much.
"When you start a project you say it will cost $2 million, but we wanted to film this on 35mm not video so it's become more expensive. We can't stop the project now. We have to spend more money so we can save the money we already spent. Next time, though, we will film with HD or Digi-Beta."