(Photo: The Christian Post / Stoyan Zaimov)
Mark Burnett, creator of popular TV shows such as "Celebrity Apprentice," "Shark Tank," "Survivor," "The Voice" and most recently the 10-part miniseries "The Bible," has revealed that the upcoming movie version of his biblical epic will be over 2 hours long and focus more on the story of Jesus Christ.
"It's the most important story in the history of the world," Burnett said at the "Produced By" conference on Sunday in Los Angeles, according to The Wrap. "It's completely true…I know it's true….because I feel it in me."
Burnett, who co-produced the series along with his wife, Roma Downey, who also plays the role of Mary the Mother of Jesus, revealed that the new edited version of the Bible movie will be two hours and 13 minutes long, down from the original three hours. While the miniseries was a grand overview of the entire Holy Book, covering stories from the books of Genesis to Revelation, the new film will focus more closely on the New Testament and the story of Christ, potrayed by Portuguese actor Diogo Morgado.
"I believe in the next 15 years, more people on the planet will have seen our Bible series than not seen it," Burnett predicted about the future he sees for his critically-acclaimed project.
The History Channel show brought big ratings throughout its five-week run, debuting with 13.1 million viewers and finishing off on Easter Sunday with the Crucifixion of Christ with 11.7 million viewers.
At the conference, Burnett also talked about the important role of producer in the entertainment industry.
"Producers are the first person in a project and the last person out and no one pats the producers on the back. Without you there is no idea, no one is going to make it and even if it is made, you are the last one to go home, the one dealing with the marketing and the sponsors," he said at the conference, according to Deadline.
In March, Burnett told The Christian Post at "The Bible Experience" exhibit in New York that he and his wife will be working on future Bible-related projects.
"We're working on something right now. Something fantastic. We love the Bible, we love Jesus, and we are committed," Burnett said.
"Working on this project has really been meaningful and has deepened my faith in so many ways, and for that I am enormously grateful," Downey added at the same event.
While the Bible movie does not yet have a release date, plans are to have it open up in theaters sometime in Fall 2013.