Easter: The Rise of Jesus (by Michael Bay)
"Michael Bay" answers critics of his next movie Easter: The Rise of Jesus over at The League of Ordinary Gentlemen. This is, for once, a director telling it like it is, leaving no stone unturned, no controversy unaddressed.
To that end, let me first address the so-called “outrage” over our casting decisions.
Neither Universal Studios nor myself, nor anyone else involved with greenlighting the production are fools. We all knew the casting of Vin Diesel as Jesus would be controversial. We also knew that, artistically, he was the only choice. Vin was also our first choice. Rumors that Channing Tatum had initially been inked are just that: rumors.Apostles!
Do I know that the real Jesus chose twelve apostles? Of course I do. Did Jesus know that teams of over six don’t focus-group well? Probably not. So when you think about it, it’s really a wash.
Universal and I decided that by reducing the team to five apostles, we could create in each a kind of amalgam of multiple apostles that represented the raw essence of what the original twelve stood for — five “apostle archetypes,” if you will. For example, Judas was obviously the archetype villain, and you need to have that character in any story. But we also wanted a character that would be the personification of friendly, folksy wisdom and support, and I have to say I thought Wilfred Brimley was fabulous as the apostle Pops. The comic relief of Rob Schneider’s apostle Cheeky was no less valuable to the story, and I believe that Mila Kunis and Megan Fox were practically born to play their respective sexy girl-next-door and sexy bad-girl apostle archetypes. And young Jaden Smith’s character Saber was the very embodiment of that most beloved and treasured of all archetype apostles: the hot young male who tests well with the 12-19 demographic while still counting as a minority hire.
Look, I get that the Bible has a very particular story line. But whoever wrote the Bible wasn’t contractually obligated to produce two sequels to Jesus’ story. Hell, they didn’t even bother to ever choose between the four rewrites. So, yeah, I get that we tell a very slightly different story than did Mark, or John, or… or… I want to say Karl? Never mind, it’s not important. My point is that when you’re one and out, dying on the cross makes sense. But when you have that one-in-a-million will-they-or-won’t-they chemistry between two stars like Vin’s Jesus and Kristen Stewart’s Mary Magdalene, you don’t just toss that aside for non-franchise peanuts.Its the perfect statement - go check it out!