We know the Bible has always been a subtle source of film material for many years, especially in 2014, with the likes of Noah; and the upcoming Exodus: Gods and Kings; plus big-screen adaptations of Bible stories about characters including David, Mary, Cain and Abel and Pontius Pilate all in the works, it looks like they’re just getting started.
Most of the films sound pretty promising, but just in case producers need a little extra inspiration, here’s some suggestions by Jesse Carey.
By Jesse Carey
Ruth: Far From Home
The story of Ruth, a story about love, death, family and, ultimately, redemption. Bring hankies to this one!
Jonah and The Whale: An Unexpected Journey
A man on the run from God. A whale with an appetite for prophets. The fate of a city that hangs in the balance. The story of Jonah has all the makings of a Hollywood adventure.
Elijah vs. Ahab: The Dawn of Justice
There are few biblical rivalries as epic as Elijah and Ahab. Their relationship has all the makings of a Bible blockbuster: There are supernatural showdowns (400 prophets of Baal against one man), an evil villain influencing the king (Ahab’s wife Jezebal), a resurrection (the widow’s son) and one of Scripture’s great mentor/apprentice relationships (Elijah and Elisha). It would also have one of the most memorable final scenes in Bible movie history, with chariots of fire coming down from heaven, pulling Elijah into the afterlife on a tornado.
Esther: The Girl on Fire
Let’s see. Plucky heroine? Check. Rags to riches tale? Check. Global crisis narrowly averted by last minute heroics? Check plus. Balancing wild drama with political intrigue would serve well here!
Paul: The Man Comes Around
Hollywood loves a redemption story. The biblical account of how Saul, a persecutor of the early church, became Paul, the author of most of the New Testament, is the ultimate villain-to-hero lesson. Along with his dramatic road to Damascus supernatural conversion, there’s also some interesting relationship subtext such as his mentoring of Timothy; his church leader in-fighting with Peter.
The 300(00): Mighty Men of Valor
If there’s any Bible character that could serve as the inspiration for a 300-like Zach Snyder epic, it’s Joshua. The spy-turned leader (along with, at one point, “30,000 mighty men of valor”), led Israel into a series of fierce battles across the Holy Land. Along with the Battle of Jericho (in which the walls crumbled after a trumpet-fueled sound attack), God even helped pause time (“The sun stopped in the midst of heaven and did not hurry to set for about a whole day.” Joshua 10:13) so Joshua could keep the fight raging in Gibeon.
Many Colors: A Film about Joseph
Sold into slavery by his envious brothers and later imprisoned under the accusation of sexual assault–only to rise to a position of power in Egypt after becoming a reader of dreams–Joseph’s amazing story is the stuff of Hollywood epics.
Fleece: The Gideon Story
The story of Gideon isn’t just about a warrior who used cunning to defeat his enemies; it’s a character study about a man consumed with self-doubt and forced to fully rely on God. So much so, it even took God three times of performing a miraculous sign (using a fleece and water) to convince Gideon he was worthy, and even then Gideon attempted to assemble an army so big he couldn’t be defeated. But as we remember, God whittled the troops from tens of thousands down to just 300 to prove who was in control. Sure, the film would have some action, but the story of Gideon isn’t about battle. It’s about human nature. At the bare minimum, we’re looking at four Oscar nominations.
Adam & Eve: Garden State
He’s a lonely animal lover with a heart of gold. She’s the new girl in town with some zany ideas about how to shake things up. But their screwball hijinks go too far, and nothing will ever, ever be the same.
Original Post | Relevant Magazine