Credit to: The Guardian Newspaper. UK http://www.theguardian.com/film/2015/apr/01/hugh-jackman-apostle-paul-christian-film
Hugh Jackman will play the apostle Paul in a new film set to be the most high-profile Hollywood Christian production since Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, according to Deadline.
Apostle Paul follows recent faith-based films such as Do You Believe, Son of God and Heaven is for Real into cinemas. However, with Jackman in the lead as the follower of Jesus who was converted on the road to Damascus, not to mention Matt Damon and Ben Affleck taking producer roles, the project looks likely to have significantly more clout than previous efforts.
According to the Bible, Paul began life as a man named Saul of Tarsus but experienced a religious epiphany involving a great blinding white light from Jesus while travelling from Jerusalem to Damascus. He subsequently took a new name and founded several churches in Asia Minor and Europe, using his status as a Roman citizen and Jew to evangelise.
Jackman is a student of transcendental meditation rather than Christianity, having previously attended the international School of Practical Philosophy. But he told Parade magazine in 2009 that he was raised by his father, a devout, born-again Christian who took his young son to Billy Graham crusades whenever the famed evangelist came to Australia.
“He takes his religion very seriously and would prefer I go to church,” Jackman revealed. “We’ve had discussions about our separate beliefs. I just find the evangelical church too, well, restrictive. But the School of Practical Philosophy is non-confrontational. We believe there are many forms of scripture. What is true is true and will never change, whether it’s in the Bible or in Shakespeare. It’s about oneness. Its basic philosophy is that if the Buddha and Krishna and Jesus were all at a dinner table together, they wouldn’t be arguing. There is an essential truth. And we are limitless.”
Affleck and Damon would also appear, at first glance, to be unusual backers for a faith-based film. The pair angered some Christians after appearing as fallen angels Bartleby and Loki in Kevin Smith’s 1999 film Dogma, a satire on Catholicism which was labelled blasphemy by the US Catholic League.
Apostle Paul has been depicted on screen myriad times, notably by Harry Dean Stanton in Martin Scorsese’s controversial 1988 film The Last Temptation of Christ.