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'Risen' Film Puts a Different Twist on Beloved Faith Story

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"Risen" is the resurrection story as seen through the eyes of an unbelieving Roman solider.
British actor Joseph Fiennes plays Clavius and he says that this film offers a unique perspective to the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.
"I loved the story of Clavius in terms of the notion of delivering a story that we all know so well - Christian and non-Christian but through the eyes of a non-believer," Fiennes said.

"I thought that the particular lens through the eyes of a Roman tribune who is there to... bring order along with Pontius Pilate to Judea and out of that he falls into the greatest murder mystery of all time," he continued.

"And then it really challenges his conditioning and in the end we see him in a place where he can never go back to Rome," he said.

CBN News Reporter Abigail Robertson sat down with Joseph Fiennes to discuss what it’s like to portray such a powerful story.

Clavius and his aide Lucius -- played by English actor Tom Felton -- are tasked by Pontius Pilate with ensuring that Jesus' followers don't steal his body and claim he's risen from the dead.
Felton, known for his role as "Draco Malfoy" in the Harry Potter franchise, says he was drawn to the story's creative take on Biblical events.
"The story is something I've grown up with and a lot of my generation has kind of engrained in and instilled in us in a way," he said. "So to have the opportunity to tell those stories from a sort of completely different perspective was really exciting."

Rich Peluso, of Sony's faith-based Affirm films, is one of the project's producers. He hopes "Risen" continues the box office success of faith-based films.
"This is a real valid storytelling perspective and I think with research it shows 127 million Americans go to a Christian church every week -- that shows that faithbased storytelling is not a niche - it is mainstream," he told CBN News.

Some say "Risen" picks up where the 2004 blockbuster "Passion of the Christ" left off -- something producer Mickey Liddell says is a tall order.
"Obviously that was done so well, so beautiful, so incredibly perfect and so much time and effort was put into that and I kept saying that's the gold standard and we have to try to reach that. We wanted to try to repeat that high quality of filmmaking," Liddell said.

Meanwhile, Peluso hopes audiences see "Risen" as more than just another story about the Bible.
"I want believers to walk out of that film just energized and excited and just blown away from the other side of the story and really refreshed going back to the scripture," he told CBN News.

"For non-believers, I want them to really wonder, maybe Christ really rose...and start to think about and dig into the evidence that they have right in front of them," he said.
"Risen" opens in theaters February 19.

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About The Author

Charlene Aaron

Charlene Aaron serves as a general assignment reporter, news anchor, co-host of The 700 Club, co-host of 700 Club Interactive, and co-host of The Prayerlink on the CBN News Channel. She covers various social issues, such as abortion, gender identity, race relations, and more. Before joining CBN News in 2003, she was a personal letter writer for Dr. Pat Robertson. Charlene attended Old Dominion University and Elizabeth City State University. She is an ordained minister and pastor’s wife. She lives in Smithfield, VA, with her husband.