VOLUME 40 ISSUE 09 3 MARCH 2004 The Onion
HOLLYWOOD, CA—After watching Mel Gibson's The Passion Of The Christ Monday, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ announced that He will demand creative control over the next film based on His life.
"I never should have given Mel Gibson so much license," said Christ, the Son of God. "I don't like to criticize a member of the flock, but that close-up of the nails being pounded into My wrists—that was just bad."
Our Lord did not limit His criticisms to Gibson's Passion; He expressed frustration with historical inaccuracies in numerous film adaptations of His life.
"There have been a lot of films based on My life, and pretty much all of them have gotten it wrong," Christ said. "Just look at Godspell—what the heck was going on there? It's time I reclaim My image."
Christ said He considered returning to the physical world to make an accurate film depiction of His life for years, but seeing The Passion prompted Him to finally descend from heaven, meet with His agent Ronald Thatcher, and demand that He be attached as a producer on any future projects.
"Ron has a history of telling Me that the filmmakers 'totally understand' the Word Of God, and that the project is going to be 'fabulous,'" Christ said. "But when it comes out, it's all wrong, and Ron claims everything fell apart in post-production. At that point, there's nothing left for Me to do but say, 'Okay, fine. I forgive you all.' Well, next time, I'll be shepherding the project through from casting to final edit to marketing."
Describing one of His biggest complaints, Christ said that no film about His life has ever "made the apostles pop."
"In The Greatest Story Ever Told, the 12 are basically interchangeable," Christ said. "Directors get the piety, but they don't bring out the personalities behind the agape love. Some of those guys were real cut-ups, you know. Simon Peter could make you laugh until you cried tears of blood."
In order to bring these and other truths to light, Christ teamed up with screenwriter Ron Bass, who wrote both Snow Falling On Cedars and My Best Friend's Wedding. The two have been co-writing a high-concept script, temporarily called Untitled Jesus Project.
"We're still hammering out the treatment, but I'm really excited about where it's headed," Christ said. "It really beefs up My relationship with John the Baptist, something all of the other movies missed. They always put in the beheading, but they leave out the quiet moments when John and I would hang out, eat locusts and honey, and talk about the redemption of Man. I think our friendship will really resonate with a lot of viewers."
Christ said He is also working on a heist film based loosely on the loaves-and-the-fishes incident, but that the project is currently stuck in development.
Above: Christ talks with directors on the set of an upcoming cable-TV miniseries about His life.
"I tend to have problems pitching to studio executives," Christ said. "Last week, I appeared in a vision before a D-girl at Sony, and I said, 'Be not afraid, for I am Jesus—I have written a treatment and Matthew McConaughey is interested in the role of Herod.' Apparently, she was a little freaked-out by the vision and she ended up passing on the idea. Ron said that next time I should just schedule a lunch meeting like everyone else."
Returning to film adaptations about His life and Word, Christ said some inaccuracies can be traced back to the source material, the New Testament.
"Remember, at the time the Good Book was written, I was running around saving souls like a madman," Christ said. "I couldn't focus on a writing project, too. I basically gave My team of writers the broad strokes and hoped inspiration would fill in the cracks. Now, I'm not saying the New Testament isn't good—it is. It's great! But by the time I got around to reading the galleys, the monks had already finished the first printing."
The Lord Jesus did have positive things to say about Martin Scorsese's The Last Temptation Of Christ.
"Not only is Marty a fantastic director, but the story isn't the same old, same old," Jesus said. "It's like The Gospel of Mark filtered through an episode of The Twilight Zone. I love it. My one problem is with the casting of Willem Dafoe. He's good, but I think John Turturro would have made a better Me."
In spite of His love for Scorsese, Christ said He has no plans to simply make "the next Last Temptation."
"My movie about My life will be the greatest movie ever shown," Christ said. "It should be the last Word on Me. No more animated versions, no more musicals, and no more movies where the scourging scene is so violent, you could put it in Fangoria. I mean, yes, being crucified is very painful. But I can't see devoting more than, say, three minutes of film to it."
Jesus added: "My version will have it all: drama, laughter, a spiritual message, and a couple of twists that will surprise even the most devout. The best part is that it'll be 100 percent accurate."
Continued Christ: "Even with the top-notch screenplay Ron and I are writing, I'll still need a great director to make the script shine. Unfortunately, Gore Verbinski is already committed to Pirates Of The Caribbean 2. If only he'd see that this movie is truly the career path for the righteous, I'd be able to get a firm commitment from Johnny Depp, too. Let us pray."
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