(Photo: AP Photo / Jennifer Graylock)
Wizards, vampires and Jesus? Anne Rice is known for books like Interview With the Vampire and Queen of the Damned, but it is her book about the young Jesus Christ that has “Harry Potter” director Chris Columbus ready to make a new film.
“I'm overjoyed to be able to share this news with you, that my novel Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt is truly headed for the big screen,” Rice wrote on her Facebook page on Monday. “I've read the screenplay by Cyrus and Betsy Nowrastah and it is very simply beautiful. My heart and soul is in this novel, as it is in all of them and this is a key step in the fulfillment of a dream.”
Variety reports that Columbus will produce the film with Michael Barnathan and Mark Radcliffe through 1492 Pictures, and also with Sean Lee, Keo Lee and Patricia Chun of CJ Entertainment.
A review from Publishers Weekly says Christ the Lord tells the story of a 7-year-old Jesus as he departs from Egypt to return with his parents to their home in Nazareth. As the story progresses, he begins to gain an understanding of his unusual power and gradually discovers the situation surrounding his miraculous birth, an event his parents never told him about.
"This film has the potential to be a cinematic classic, a picture that will appeal to all ages, all around the world," Columbus said, according to Variety. "I am proud to be part of this incredible production."
Rice, who became popular as a result of her novel series, “The Vampire Chronicles,” returned to the Catholic roots of her childhood in 1998 and then began writing books that were “devoted to Jesus Christ” as a result.
In 2010, however, Rice declared that she “quit being Christian.” She said she refused to be anti-gay, anti-feminist, anti-science, anti-artificial birth control, anti-Democrat, anti-secular humanism and anti-life in the name of Christ, and declared that “following Christ does not mean following His followers.”
Still, Rice is excited about the opportunity to see her book turned into a movie, in spite of the way she distanced herself from the church.
“My heart and soul and love for Jesus Christ is in this book,” Rice told Examiner.com. “It really has nothing to do with my move away from Organized Religion. That had to do with many theological and social and political issues that have no connection with Jesus at all.”