Megachurch pastor Rick Warren and other Christian leaders are renting out theaters across the country to premiere the new religious movie "Son of God" on Feb. 27, a day before it officially opens, Religious News Service
The movie, whose producers include Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, is adapted largely from "The Bible" miniseries which airs on the History Channel. It stars Diogo Morgado as Jesus and Downey as his mother Mary.
Distributors of the film say it "brings the story of Jesus' life to audiences through compelling cinematic storytelling that is both powerful and inspirational … with the scope and scale of an action epic."
Religious News Service says many religious leaders are "citing the movie as a natural opportunity to evangelize."
Warren, author of the best-selling book "The Purpose Driven Life" and founder-minister of Saddleback Church, America’s fourth largest megachurch with 22,000 members, wrote a curriculum tied to the movie and published by LifeWay Christian Resources.
In an interview with Newsmax last month, Burnett, producer of reality shows such as "Shark Tank" and "Survivor," said "Son of God" will have a wide impact for Christian evangelism as modern technology brings the film about the life of Jesus to remote areas of the world.
"We believe in the decades to come, people in remote places will find Jesus through watching this movie on their iPhones," Burnett said.
The film is rated PG-13 for intense and bloody depiction of the Crucifixion and for some sequences of violence.
One character who will be cut from the movie is an actor who played Satan in the miniseries, after a controversy arose because of his physical resemblance
to President Barack Obama.
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