*The devil will not be represented in the sequel to History Channel’s “The Bible,” all because the actor playing him looks too much like President Barack Obama, and producers don’t want the drama.
“It gives me great pleasure to tell you that the devil is on the cutting-room floor. This is now a movie about Jesus, the son of God, and the devil gets no more screen time,” said Roma Downey, who produced the movie with her husband, Mark Burnett.
The film, which will be released in theaters this time, on Feb. 28 from 20th Century Fox, is primarily a reshaped version of last year’s hit TV miniseries “The Bible.”
For Son of God, the 10-hour miniseries needed to be cut down to the two hours or so that focuses on Jesus; Downey says they went out of their way to leave the controversial Satan out of the film.
A year ago, bloggers immediately noted the similarities between Satan in “The Bible” miniseries and Obama and side-by-side comparisons went viral over the Internet. Burnett, Downey and History, which aired the show, each issued statements supporting the president and slamming those that made the “false connection,” as History put it, between Obama and Satan.
This time around, though, Downey says she’s eager to avoid a similar situation, even though Jesus and Satan both made their appearance in “The Bible” miniseries during the same episode, so it would have made sense that “Son of God” also include Satan.
“Someone made a comment that the actor who played the devil vaguely resembled our president, and suddenly the media went nuts,” Downey said Monday. “The next day, when I was sure everyone would only be talking about Jesus, they were talking about Satan instead.”
She added: “For our movie, ‘Son of God,’ I wanted all of the focus to be on Jesus. I want his name to be on the lips of everyone who sees this movie, so we cast Satan out.”