Well, it is now 2016! Another year of movies has passed and another batch is being prepared for release. I would like to present a list of Christian movies or TV Series, Bible Based movies or TV Series or movies based on the life of Jesus that will be coming out in 2016. For those of you who have followed my blog this year you might have realized that the list I made last year had changed and shifted throughout the year. Some of the movies on this list where on that list. This happens in the film industry and is more likely to happen with smaller independent films or films that make the studio nervous.
With that said, this list I feel is a little more solidified then last year’s list. So here it is!
Let’s Start with TV.
March 8th 2016 – Of Kings and Prophets – This is an ongoing TV series based on King Saul and David. It was originally supposed to air in the fall of 2015 but was pushed back due to “Creative changes.” Though I will be keeping an eye on this show… I am extremely cautious and really am not expecting much from it.
January 25th 2016 – The Pastor – I almost didn’t include this on the list because of being unfamiliar with the Studio, or the fact that the Director hasn’t done much before, or the fact that it is only scheduled for a limited release right now. But I included it because the premise seems interesting to me and I think would seem interesting to anyone who would want to read this list. I have no idea if this independent movie is a “Christian Movie” or if it just has “Christian overtones.” Either way, it is on this list for your consideration.
April 1st 2016 – God’s Not Dead 2 – I didn’t love God’s Not Dead… but I didn’t hate it either and I must admit that the trailer peaked my interest a little bit. I understand that many Christians loved the first one and are looking forward to the second, there is a place in some Christian’s where these movies touch. It is similar to “wish fulfilment” yet, it’s something different. I have heard it described in many ways but if people think that only Christians like movies that are propaganda for a particular point of view then you are blind. I do however wish they picked a different release date! I mean… come on, this movie will be made fun of enough… did you really need to help things along by releasing it on April Fools?
April 29th 2016 – Same Kind of Different as Me – Based on the inspirational book of the same name, this film, another Indie project by an unknown director who has only every directed a short film before doing this feature is another wild card. Not only is this first time director directing but he is also writing, and producing this film. Both of which are also his firsts. I am not saying this WILL be bad, people can surprise you out of the gate. Many Hollywood directors have made Masterpieces as their first films. However, more fail out of the gate.
August 12th, 2016 – The Shack – Based on the book by William Paul Young that has been praised by some in Christian circles and ridiculed by others for its “inaccurate” theology regarding the trinity this film is sure to make some waves. At one point Oprah was even involved! This film should be one to watch out for!
Films About Jesus
February 19th 2016 – Risen – This film is one I have been waiting a long time for. In fact, this was on the list I posted last year. On that list it was called Clavius and the date was unspecified. Since then it has been picked up by Sony Pictures and will be released under their Affirm Films banner. This film has been in the works for a while, it started as a script commissioned to be an official sequel to The Passion of the Christ. After being rejected in favor of doing a prequel about Mary, Kevin Reynolds picked it up and decided to direct it. For those of you who do not know Kevin Reynolds, he is #1 on my list of most underrated directors in Hollywood. He directed my current favorite film of all time the Count of Monte Cristo he also directed the Hatfields & McCoys miniseries which I really enjoyed! He may not be a director that ALWAYS pleases he is one that excites me when he is passionate about a project and it has been his passion for this project that has gotten it over all the hoops to bring us this film for 2016. People… I am serious… this film is a reason to be excited!… mark your calendars! Everything I see and know about this project tells me this is going to be special!
March 11th 2016 – The Young Messiah – Based on the Anne Rice novel “Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt” this film tells a fictional account of Jesus as a young boy just as his family is leaving Egypt to return to Israel. I have not read the book and I am aware that there is some controversy surrounding the novel but I have some trusted friends that assure me there isn’t anything offensive in the novel. Maybe I should say their “Shouldn’t be anything offensive in the novel” because some people will be offended at any type of speculation when it comes to Jesus. As long as everyone keeps in mind that it is not trying to speak historical fact this film should be interesting. I do wonder though… why did Jesus have a British accent as a Child born of Jews and raised in Egypt?
June 30th 2016 – Last Days in the Desert – While technically a 2015 film that has already been released very limitedly, I am including this here because most of you will not get to see it until this year. This is also an Indie Film. However, this is different. Instead of a film being made for the purpose of spreading the Gospel (Which I don’t think there is anything wrong with) the main focus on this film is to make a film. It is a better place to start and a place that I wish Christian film makers would start. Ewan McGregor plays Jesus, which is Ironic because there is that Facebook meme going around showing him as Obi Wan Kenobi where some elderly lady (assumption) has placed his picture on a shelf because she thought it was a picture of Jesus. Well… now she can find an actual picture of Ewan McGregor as Jesus. I don’t know if this film will be insulting to Christians or if it will be “believer friendly” but the buzz I am hearing says it will not offend.
August 12th 2016 – Ben-Hur – This film is a polarizing film. Many who love the 1959 version cry foul because they say you shouldn’t remake a classic like this! But then there are people like me. I am a huge fan of the novel, and though I loved the 1959 version, there is so much that was left out that I think shouldn’t have been. In the novel the chariot race happens only half way in. The second half of the novel is only about the last half hour of the film and if you have read the novel you would see that they really rushed things to get to the end of the story. My hope is that they will include more of the end of the novel, my favorite part. But I also want to mention, in 1925 there was a film called Ben-Hur, it was fantastic, is was considered a classic and if they would have taken the advice of the nay sayers today, we would never have the 1959 Masterpiece. Yes, it is most likely not going to live up to the original but it might… is it worth a shot? I think so. What is the worst that could happen? People will always have the 1959 version. And this gives my Son a chance to see this fantastic story in a movie that hasn’t alienated him by age.
As you might have already notice, it’s not quite “The Year of the Bible” but I might be tempted to call it “The Year of Jesus” since there are more films about Jesus coming out in 2016 than usual. Would you like to see more movies that bring attention to Biblical stories? Then go see these! Vote with your money… and go see them opening weekend if you can, it is the weekend where your money will speak the loudest!
Have a Happy 2016 and may it be a great year for Christians to go to the movies!