SEATTLE – Christian leaders and pastors attending the Resurgence conference were treated to a first-time public screening of the movie trailer for "Son of God," as presented by "The Bible" TV series producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett.
"Many people thought that nobody in America, during prime-time TV wants to hear about or watch the Bible. They were so wrong. One-hundred million people tuned in," Burnett told The Christian Post backstage at the R13 conference hosted by Mark Driscoll at Mars Hill Downtown Church last Tuesday and Wednesday. "We knew when we were shooting that the Jesus portion of our 'Bible' series was special and we shot much more footage and we've re-edited many more scenes into a stand-alone feature film called 'Son of God.'"
The film is being released by 20th Century Fox on Feb. 28, 2014. The movie will have a PG-13 rating, but Burnett told those attending the conference that the crucifixion scene will have a justifiable realism to it.
The TV and film producer was asked about how he is able to use Hollywood as a platform for giving the Gospel message.
"The fact that we have a lot of viewers, between 'Touched by an Angel' with Roma, and of course, 'Survivor,' 'The Apprentice,' 'Shark Tank,' [and] 'The Voice,' we are very plugged into pop culture, and I feel pretty certain that had we not this background of success in television we wouldn't have got the opportunity to be allowed and to make and to present 'The Bible' series to the world, and to present this incredible feature film, 'Son of God' in huge release all over the nation, all over the world," Burnett explained.
"It all comes back to people in the industry realizing that we know what we're doing and allowing us to make this show and now our movie about our faith."
Downey added, "Clearly, it's a God thing that 'The Bible' series began, that's one thing, and out of it has emerged this beautiful stand-alone feature film that we believe will just be a blessing. It has a big movie studio distributing it, not a rinky-dink little distribution group, but 20th Century Fox. And Jesus is going to be on the big screen Feb. 28."
"Jesus" has not been on the big screen for 10 years, according to Downey. "This is a big story. It deserves a big presentation. The stand-alone opportunity of two hours and 15 minutes to follow the birth, the life, the mission, the miracles, the death, the resurrection, the ascension, the Great Commission, the entire Jesus narrative," she said.
Downey said they "prayed their way through this experience."
"We just know that God is going to take this and is going to use this," she said.
During the R13 conference interview with Driscoll, the couple was asked, "Who is Jesus?"
"Jesus is God," Burnett answered, "We took a very clear position in the series and in the film . . . It's unequivocally very, very clear."
In a post about the interview and special screening of the movie trailer at the conference, Driscoll asked for prayer for Burnett and Downey.
"Their work is truly unprecedented in the history of the church, and I am happy to work with them to make the most of this incredible opportunity to share the gospel in this unique, impactful way," Driscoll writes.
Watch the "Son of God" movie trailer seen for the first time by Christian leaders at the Resurgence 2013 conference below.