ORANGE COUNTY, CA -- With their sights on the Christian audience, Hollywood movie-makers have unveiled plans for their next 3-D blockbuster: a retelling of the creation of the world as depicted in the Bible, aptly titled In the Beginning. Simple church leader Ken Eastburn wants to send Hollywood a message: "You'll have to do more than just try to 'wow' Christians with stunning graphics. While the Bible is action-packed, it is the compelling narrative of God's love for humanity that draws millions to Christianity."
Hollywood has tried to capitalize on the Christian market with explicitly religious movies, largely due to the success of The Passion of the Christ. But such attempts have mostly been met with wide disappointment. One New York Magazine author believes the success of Avatar has reinvigorated movie-makers "...They believe they have a new, better game plan: make religious-themed movies, but make them big, effects-packed, 3-D blockbusters..."
"It is not a 'big, effects-packed, 3-D blockbuster' that Christians want to see," says Eastburn. "It is a compelling storyline. Consider the movies that have had wide success among Christians: The Passion of the Christ, The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. It isn't the visual effects that draw us in. We love them because they are time-tested, well-told stories. Without that, the movie will flop."
Eastburn is a leader with The Well, formerly a traditional Southern Baptist church that transitioned in 2005 to a network of home-based churches.
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He continues, "The Bible has something to offer the world that no other story does. It is unique in its own right and has inspired people for thousands of years. It will be alright if Hollywood represents it with stunning visual effects, but most of all they just need to tell its story well. And without rewriting it."