Visual Bible International’s newest $20 million feature length film began showing in theaters on September 26, 2003 and is slated to appear on 250 screens and in some 100 cities by January. Narrated by Christopher Plummer, the screenplay was derived word-for-word from the American Bible Society’s Good News Bible translation. The three-hour epic film attempts to depict an historically accurate recreation of the best known and most widely read of the Gospels, including an original musical score with instrumental sounds of the period. The filmmakers were assisted by a committee of seven prominent scholars of religion and theology. The producers report that there was an unwavering commitment to meticulous accuracy in representing the biblical time of Christ—from costume design to ancient architecture and historic music.
The screenplay was written by Emmy-nominated writer John Goldsmith (“Victoria and Labert,” “Return of the Saint,” “Great Expectations”), and directed by the award winning Philip Saville (“Metroland,” “Hamlet,” “Oedipus the King”). “The Gospel of John” features 75 respected principal actors, most of them from the Canadian and British stage, as well as over 2000 extras. The film was produced by Jeff Sackman and Chris Chrisafis with Martin Katz, Sandy Pearl and Joel Michaels as executive producers. Exterior scenes were filmed near Malaga, Spain. Interiors were shot in Toronto, Canada. Produced under the auspices of the Anglo-Canadian Co-Production Treaty, post-production took place in Toronto and London, England.
“Visual Bible is excited about this film,” said Dr. Steven C. Small, Chairman of the Board. “This is a new beginning for the company after its restructuring, refinancing and appointment of an all new board, management and advisory team. We believe there is a very large and growing market for the quality Christian faith-based films which we are producing. …This film will provide millions of people an opportunity to understand this inspiring book in today’s preferred, visual medium.”
The film will be released on DVD to retail stores in 2004. Visual Bible intends to produce a film version of each book of the Bible every nine months. The next in the series, The Gospel of Mark, is currently in development.
Official Web site: www.gospelofjohnthefilm.com (includes trailer and list of theaters)