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So, I wanted to know why does Jesus appear briefly in a modern suit in the Jesus Series for CBS-TV?

The Hollywood Jesus web site has been flooded with email wanting to know more about the Jesus Series on CBS-TV .
- By David Bruce

THE JESUS MINI SERIES
(CBS, MAY 14 & May 17 2000)

Be sure to visit the visual review with tons of photos from film

FOR MORE ON THE JESUS MINI SERIES:
PAGE 1 -Review and photos
PAGE 2 -Review and photos continued
PAGE 3 -Review and photos (from second part).
PAGE 4 Comments
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Differences between the CBS and International version

This page was created on May 26, 1999
Last updated on
May 22, 2005
Starring Jeremy Sisto ("The 60s" "Clueless") as Jesus,
Gary Oldman ("The Camelot") as Pontius Pilate,
Jacqueline Bisset ("Joan of Arc") as Virgin Mary,
Armin Mueller-Stahl ("Shine") as Joseph,
David Classics O'Hara ("Braveheart"),
Debra Messing ("Will & Grace")as Mary Magdalene
Jeroen Krabbe ("The Fugitive").

Directed by Roger E. Young, who also directed "Moses" "Joseph" and "Solomon". He has a long list of credits as a TV movie director.

Judd Parkin ("Nicholas' Gift," "Forbidden Territory: Stanley's Search for Livingston") and Lorenzo Minoli ("Nicholas' Gift," "Joseph") are executive producers, for Five Mile River Films in association with Lux Vide, S.p.A.

Music from JESUS:
1. Jesus - Theme from the Original Soundtrack -Patrick Williams 2. I Need You -LeAnn Rimes 3. Jesus, He Loves Me -Edwin McCain 4. Nobody Ever (Only You) -Steven Curtis Chapman 5. Spirit In The Sky -dc Talk 6. The Love That You've Been Looking For -98 Degrees 7. Shining Star -Yolanda Adams 8. Love Can Change Your Mind -LoneStar 9. Fly To You -Avalon 10. When You Walked Into My Life-Jaci Velasquez 11. City By A River -Hootie & The Blowfish 12. Pie Jesu -Sarah Brightman

"We wanted to emphasize the fact that
Jesus is still with us." -Lorenzo Minoli
This is a major event four-hour mini-series about the extraordinary life and mission of Jesus of Nazareth. This epic drama about the man whom Christians believe to be the son of God and the Messiah, reveals how he, during his relatively short life, grew from a simple carpenter to a man whose spiritual teachings and loving ways continue to inspire billions of followers -- nearly two thousand years after his crucifixion and resurrection. The mini-series explores Jesus's relationships with his mother, Mary (Bisset), and his earthly father, Joseph (Mueller-Stahl); his 12 apostles, his devoted friends and followers, such as Mary Magdalene (Messing) and his cousin John the Baptist. It also illustrates the politically charged times in which Roman governor Pontius Pilate (Oldman) ruled over Judea -- to the disdain of the Jewish leaders and residents.
Exclusive Interview
Lorenzo Minoli

Producer of the Jesus Mini Series

With David Bruce
HollywoodJesus.com

So, I wanted to know why does Jesus appear briefly in a modern suit in the Jesus Series for CBS-TV?

The Hollywood Jesus web site has been flooded with email wanting to know more about the Jesus Series on CBS-TV.

So, It was my recent good pleasure to talk with Emmy award winning producer Lorenzo Minoli, who produced the Jesus Mini Series for CBS. He also produced the TNT Bible series, which includes Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Samson & Delilah, David and the Emmy award winning film Joseph. Lorenzo and an extensive history in the film industry and has his own film production corporation, Five Mile River Films.

In film making Lorenzo is sort of a 'Jack of all trades.' For the Bible Series he took on many of the responsibilities include determining the creative elements -such as directors, casting, writing- and coordinating the international co-production and distribution.

He takes pride in his documentaries on the former Soviet Union. Most notable was The Caravan of Columbus, a two hour special filmed during the critical summer of 1989.

His recent Nicholas was shown on CBS as the kick-off movie in the network's "May Sweeps" period. It proved to be a rating success for the executive producer, finishing as the number eight program out of one hundred and four for the week and resulted in an Emmy nomination for Jamie Lee Curtis for best actress.

I found Lorenzo to be a down to earth kind of family guy who swims in a in wealth of ideas and visions.

THE INTERVIEW

David: I can't tell you how much I have been looking forward to this interview.

Lorenzo: And I must say I really enjoy your Hollywood Jesus web site. I found out about it through a friend in Italy.

David: Thank you. I appreciate that. Hollywood Jesus has been getting lots of email on the upcoming Jesus Series on CBS. I was surprised when I read that Turner Network Television did not pick up the Jesus Mini Series. They showed the entire Bible Series, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and David. What happened and how did The Jesus Mini Series end up on CBS?

Lorenzo: It's a long story. But, I think it began during the filming of Moses when we lightly pitched Jesus to TNT.

David: And they did not respond?

Lorenzo: Well, it was not the right time for them to make the decision. We discussed the possibility with ABC. But, we could not find any common ground. And suddenly TNT was interested. "Why are you talking to ABC? We are interested," they said.

David: So, back to Turner Network Television. What happened?

Lorenzo: We had differences with the TNT vision for the Jesus series. They had had a great success with MERLIN and they wanted to do certain kinds of special effects with Jesus.

David: I heard they wanted Jesus to fly around like Merlin did. What did they want?

Lorenzo: Well let's just leave it with the fact the we had differences in our vision for this film. But, at CBS they just embraced the project. It was wonderful. You know this has taken 4 years of my life.

David: It has been a labor of love for you. How long is the Jesus Series?

Lorenzo: Well there are two versions. Both have two parts. In the European version, each part runs 100 minutes long. And the American version has been trimmed down to 82 to 83 minutes each.

David: In other words, 40 minute has been cut out of the CBS version of the Jesus Mini Series for America. When the video tape version is released, will it contain the full version?

Lorenzo: Yes, it will. You know, originally, the Italians wanted to make this a six part movie. That would have been too long.

David: I understand that you have some other Bible films that have not been shown to the American public.

Lorenzo: We have Jeremiah the Prophet, and Esther, and Solomon.

David: Have these been picked up?

Lorenzo: Yes, by PAX. Solomon (photo) will show in April 2000 during the sweeps. And Esther and Jeremiah will show sometime later.

David: Well, good for PAX. I am still surprised that TNT didn't maintain the series. Tell me about these other films.

Lorenzo: Solomon is fantastic. It will run over two nights. I am very proud of it. It stars Ben Cross as Solomon and Max Van Sydow as King David. Ben Cross does a wonderful job as Solomon. It's a very good film.

David: And Esther...

Lorenzo: Yes, with Louis Lombard as Esther (photo).

David: Esther is my daughter Kathleen's favorite book in the Bible.

Lorenzo: Yes, it's a great story.

David: Are there any other films in the Bible Series?

Lorenzo: Yes Creation.

David: Creation? You mean like Adam and Eve (photo)?

Lorenzo: Exactly. It's a very visual movie. It has only one professional actor in it. It was done in a very different style than the other films. It's very beautiful, very visual.

David: Has it been picked up?

Lorenzo: Yes by Pax.

David: I am so curious, how did the whole Bible story thing get started?

Lorenzo: It started back in 1992 in a collaboration between the Italian group Lux Vide and myself. We then we entered the international market involving BetaFilm (KirchGroup) and Turner Network Television. The "Bible Project" is now made up of many films and is the biggest television co-production in the world involving Raiuno, Turner Network Television, France2, as well as Quinta, Antena 3, MTM, BSkyB, Czech TV, ARD and NCRV.

David: I am impressed.

Lorenzo: Well originally the Italians were thinking of 40 movies. But, you know, the Italians always think too big.

David: Will the Bible Series ever be released as a total video package?

Lorenzo: Yes, I hope so. We are in negotiations with TNT to buy back the rights on the films they have.

David: Eventually, then, people will be able to purchase the whole series in a one package deal.

Lorenzo: Yes.

David: I need to ask you some other questions about the Jesus Series. I understand that during the Temptation of Jesus Christ in the Wilderness Satan appear in a modern suit (photo)?

Lorenzo: Yes, this is true. We wanted to emphasize the fact that Jesus is still with us. So we put included some contemporary elements. We have flashes of the Crusades, the burning of witches, World War 1, and Kosovo. For Kosovo we did a reenactment You see, we also wanted to point out that Satan is still with us, too.

David: So the idea in the Jesus Series is that the drama between Jesus and Satan continues.

Lorenzo: Exactly. We still have a choice between Good and Evil. This is what the Sacrifice of Jesus is all about. And the good news is that Jesus is still with us.

David: I'll say Amen to that!

Lorenzo: By the way David, I will be glad to comment on some of the email that comes into Hollywood Jesus concerning the Jesus Series. Even if some comments are not favorable.

David: That's great. Thank you. I wish you great success with the Jesus Series.

Lorenzo: Thank you.


 

 

 

 


Be sure to visit the visual review with tons of photos from film

Click to go to JESUSTHE JESUS MINI SERIES ON CBS TV
MAY 14 AND 17 2000.

Very innovative and original. He laughs, cries, dances, bleeds and yet is 100% divine.
To purchase your JESUS VHS from Amazon.com ($20.99) click here.
To purchase your JESUS DVD from Amazon.com ($20.99) click here.
 
ORDER THE COMPLETE BIBLE SERIES


Abraham
(1994)

With Richard Harris
and Barbara Hershey


Jacob
(1995)

With Matthew Modine
and Lara Flynn Boyle

josephvid.gif (11825 bytes)
Joseph
(1995)
With Paul Mercurio
and Ben Kingsley

mosesvid.gif (11826 bytes)
Moses
(1996)

With Academy Award-winner Ben Kingsley (Gandhi) as MOSES

samsonvid.gif (12652 bytes)
Samson and Delilah
(1996)

With Elizabeth Hurley,
and Dennis Hopper
davidvid.gif (12292 bytes)
David
(1997)

With Ben Kingsley

To purchase your JESUS VHS from Amazon.com ($20.99) click here.
To purchase your JESUS DVD from Amazon.com ($20.99) click here.

BAD NEWS concerning the Vidmark release:

(Jn 26 2000) I just received this notice from Italy:
"the DVD from Vidmark will be NOT the International Version of 'Jesus'. I hope that the director's cut on DVD will be avalaible in EU for the next fall (I am in charge for that in Italy). I'll work on it as soon as am free following the filming of "Paul of Tarsus".
God bless you Gianmario

THIS IS SPECIAL PAGE -Interview with Loreno Minoli

FOR MORE ON THE JESUS MINI SERIES:
PAGE 1 -Review and photos
PAGE 2 -Review and photos continued
PAGE 3 -Review and photos (from second part).
PAGE 4 Comments
PAGE 5 Comments
PAGE 6 Comments
PAGE 7 Comments
PAGE 8 Comments
PAGE 9 Comments
PAGE 10 Comments
PAGE 11 Comments
PAGE 12 Comments
PAGE 13 Comments
PAGE 14 Comments

Differences between the CBS and International version

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