Son of God 2014: Movie Appeals to Latino Christianity with First Hispanic Jesus Christ
Twentieth Century Fox's Son of God movie will bring Jesus back to the big screen for the first time in 10 years. Following the Passion of the Christ, the movie hopes to grab the attention of Christians, but the movie has a second target: Latinos.
According to Chris Aronson, Fox domestic distribution chief, Son of God will represent "the first Latin Jesus in an English film." The Jesus in question is played by Portuguese Catholic actor Diogo Morgado.
"I grew up as a Christian, and I always think of Jesus as someone right next to us, you know, someone really close, and I never actually saw that onscreen in a way that could be identified," Morgado said in an interview with Good Morning America. "So I actually tried to go that way and build this relationship of one-on-one with the viewer."
Besides casting a Portugese actor, the studio has taken other measures to make Son of God appeal to the Latino community. According to The Hollywood Reporter, 20th Century Fox will give away 3,000 dual-track digital copies of the film so that movie theaters can show the film in Spanish or English. Mexican actors Adriana Barraza, Blanca Soto and Eduardo Verastegui have reportedly been recruited to dub the movies in "heavily Latino areas."
"There's a high level of Christianity in the Hispanic community, many of whom don't normally go to the movies but want to see Son of God," Aronson said.
Son of God is the brainchild of married couple Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, creators of The History Channel's mini-series The Bible, which also featured Morgado as Jesus. Downey will play the Virgin Mary, and both Burnett and Downey are producers.
"We had a massive responsibility in making this movie, and we enlisted the help of over 40 academics and church leaders across all faiths, including rabbis, Catholic leaders, Protestant leaders, to make sure that we were faithful to the text and considerate and respectful across faith," Burnett told ABC News.
Son of God hits theaters Feb. 28.