By Michael Ireland, Senior Reporter, ASSIST News Service, www.assistnews.net
LOS ANGELES, CA (ANS, February 25, 2016) — In a fresh take on history’s biggest event, seen through the eyes of a high-ranking Roman military officer, RISEN is an imaginative retelling of what happened after Jesus was crucified and resurrected.
Following the crucifixion, Pontius Pilate (Peter Firth) assigns Clavius (Joseph Fiennes) to find Jesus’ missing body and disprove any resurrection.
RISEN stars Joseph Fiennes (SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE), Tom Felton (HARRY POTTER), Peter Firth (PEARL HARBOR) and Cliff Curtis (LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD). Kevin Reynolds (ROBIN HOOD: PRINCE OF THIEVES) directs with Steven Mirkovich editing (THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST).
RISEN is an epic biblical story of Jesus’ crucifixion and the weeks following, through the eyes of the unbelieving Clavius (Joseph Fiennes), a high-ranking Roman military officer. Clavius and his aide Lucius (Tom Felton) are assigned by Pontius Pilate to ensure that Jesus’ radical followers can’t steal his body and claim a resurrection. Within days, however, the body is missing, putting Clavius on a mission to find it, to disprove the rumors of a risen Messiah and to prevent an uprising in Jerusalem.
RISEN picks up where THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST left off. Here is why a ragtag group of disciples fanned across the Roman empire and changed the course of history. Politically, historically, spiritually … and seeks to answer the question: ‘Why is this story still so important?’
The Greatest Manhunt in History
High-ranking Roman military officer Clavius is on the detective assignment of all time: to disprove news of Jesus’ resurrection. RISEN filmmakers cast the story of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection from a skeptic’s point of view, and the result is an exciting and fresh take on one of the world’s most-known stories.
AFFIRM Films is known for faith- and family-friendly classics such as WAR ROOM, SOUL SURFER, COURAGEOUS and WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL. AFFIRM Senior Vice President Rich Peluso leads the creative team behind films that satisfy the faith audience and go beyond to widely inspire, entertain and engage.
Movie fans will know many faces in RISEN. Joseph Fiennes starred in the Academy Award® Best Picture SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, and Tom Felton is known the world over as Harry Potter’s school nemesis Draco Malfoy. Talk to them about their attraction to a well-known account in a most-unusual story.
The production team is made up of DIRECTOR: Kevin Reynolds (THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO). SCREENPLAY BY: Kevin Reynolds and Paul Aiello. STORY BY: Paul Aiello. FEATURED ACTORS: Joseph Fiennes (SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE), Tom Felton (HARRY POTTER), Peter Firth (PEARL HARBOR), Cliff Curtis (Fear of the Walking Dead). PRODUCERS: Mickey Liddell, Patrick Aiello, Pete Shilaimon. EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Robert Huberman and Scott Holroyd.
RISEN is presented by Columbia Pictures and LD Entertainment in association with AFFIRM Films.
LD Entertainment is a dynamic independent studio combining entrepreneurial spirit and financial sophistication. LD has a prime presence in the motion picture marketplace as it develops, produces and strategically assembles a slate of successful films. Aware of the progressive shift in consumers’ viewing habits and emerging distribution technologies, LD Entertainment creates innovative business models and leads in shaping the entertainment industry’s future. For more information, go to www.LDEntertainment.com.
AFFIRM Films is a division of Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions (SPWA), a Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) company, dedicated to producing, acquiring and marketing films that inspire, uplift and entertain audiences. For more information go to www.AFFIRMFilms.com.
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Entertainment Inc., a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE’s global operations encompass motion picture production, acquisition and distribution; television production, acquisition and distribution; television networks; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; and development of new entertainment products, services and technologies. For additional information, go to www.sonypictures.com.
Early reviews suggest a new biblical epic hitting theaters this week is picking up where “The Passion of the Christ” left off.
“Risen” tells the story of Jesus’ crucifixion through the eyes of Clavius, a Roman military officer who is on a mission to prove the resurrection did not happen. Actor Joseph Fiennes stars as Clavius. Fiennes shared more about the film with CBN News’ Efrem Graham.
“A big attraction for me was the way his mind worked, but to get to his mind I found I had to take a physical route. I went to gladiator school in Rome. I stayed long enough to never want to go back,” he told CBN News.
“I spent the good part of a week working with a brilliant set of guys, and what I learned from a military standpoint was a way into the man was conditioned and the way that he thought,” he said.
Clavius is an ambitious Roman soldier who first tries to keep Christ’s body from being stolen after his crucifixion. He then sets out on an angry journey to find the body after it disappears from the sealed and guarded tomb. He’s a bit of a detective.
Director Kevin Reynolds shot the film in Spain and Malta, where Fiennes had no contact with the actor who played Christ until their first scenes together.
“We had a wonderful team of actors, and they were all very present and dedicated to the narrative. Like any great narrative in any great movie, it’s about relationships,” Fiennes shared. “I think your average good actor gets that and knows it and preps accordingly.”
“So, the disciples as a group of actors were incredibly bonded. They were a unit and a family. And I was very much polarized and outside of that, but when I got invited into the group, it was kind of like the arc of the film was the arc of my existence with them,” he continued.
“I wouldn’t have contact with them until we had made those scenes where we had contact. So that became quite emotional that journey,” he said.
“I think a big component in the movie for me and what I connect to with Clavius is the sense of the second chance, even if it is in the subconscious, which hasn’t quite bubbled to the surface or he has worked out, so I love that component.”
That second chance is exactly why Christ suffered, died and was “Risen.”
“Risen” opened in theaters February 19.
Photo captions: 1) Advertising poster for RISEN. Photo: Columbia Pictures. 2) Jesus crucified along with other convicted criminals in RISEN, in theaters nationwide, Feb. 19, 2016. Photo: Columbia Pictures. 3) Clavius (Joseph Fiennes) and Lucius (Tom Felton) execute orders from Pontius Pilate in RISEN, in theaters nationwide Feb. 19, 2016. Photo: Columbia Pictures. 4) Michael Ireland.
About the Writer: Michael Ireland is a Senior Correspondent for the ASSIST News Service, as well as a volunteer Internet Journalist and Ordained Minister who has served with ASSIST Ministries and ASSIST News Service since its beginning in 1989. He has reported for ANS from Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Israel, Jordan, China, and Russia. Click http://paper.li/Michael_ASSIST/1410485204 to see a daily digest of Michael’s stories for ANS.
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