• Bible Films Blog

    Looking at film interpretations of the stories in the Bible - past, present and future, as well as preparation for a future work on Straub/Huillet's Moses und Aron and a few bits and pieces on biblical studies.

    Matt Page


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    Friday, July 31, 2009

    Is There a Remake of Jesus Christ, Superstar in the Works?

    The Hollywood Reporter says so.
    Universal sang from the mountaintops after the $600 million global success of the Abba musical "Mama Mia" last year. Now the studio could be belting them out about a very different figure: Jesus.

    The studio and producer Marc Platt are in active development on a remake of "Jesus Christ Superstar." And there's a director -- at first surprising, but not without its logic -- that Platt and the studio have been talking to: Marc Webb.
    If this project really does come to fruition with Universal it will be the first Jesus film to be made by a major studio since Universal's Last Temptation of Christ over 20 years ago.

    Of course Jesus Christ, Superstar has been updated more recently than that. There was a fairly awful filmed version of the stage production made at the time of the millennium. If potential director Marc Webb does make a noughties hipster update of the musical hopefully he'll steer well clear of that version of the story with its pouting Jesus and its Nazi-style Pontius Pilate.

    Thanks to Peter Chattaway for the tip off.

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    • At 12:30 pm, July 31, 2009, Blogger Juliette said…

      Intriguing... I can see how an update might be good, but I really love the original and Jesus Christ Superstar is really easy to do badly...

    • At 8:11 pm, July 31, 2009, Anonymous Doug Chaplin said…

      It probably needs to be a real film, not a film of a stage revival (which I liked more than you did).

    • At 12:07 pm, August 03, 2009, Blogger Matt Page said…

      Thanks for both your comments. I'm not sure how much this film can really update things. Costumes obviously, but, much as I love the musical, I'm not sure how easy it is to take it away from its very 70s context.

      One interesting approach might be to do it like the original - as a film about a bunch of 70s studenty types making a play about Jesus, so it would be less dated, and bolder visually - using a 2010 colour pallete rather than a 1973 one, and tapping into that nostalgic thing that's so popular at the moment. Or they could make it as a a film about the people making the original film. Though that would be a bit complex!



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