November 4, 2009
LOTR Producer to Make Biopic on Muhammad
Barry Osborne, who produced The Lord of the Rings films, wants to 'bridge cultures'
The producer who brought us messiah types in The Matrix and The Lord of the Rings films now plans to make a major film about the prophet Muhammad, London's Guardian reports.
Osborne says the $150 million biopic will be "an international epic production aimed at bridging cultures. The film will educate people about the true meaning of Islam."
Qatar-based Alnoor Holdings is footing the bill for the film, to begin shooting in the first quarter of 2011, said Raja Sharif, Alnoor's vice-president for international affairs. Sharif also said the movie will respect Islamic traditions forbidding images of the prophet, so Muhammad himself "will not appear," Sharif said.
According to Islam Online, Ahmed Abdullah Al-Mustafa, chairman of Alnoor Holdings, told the Doha-based Al-Jazeera television that the film "will highlight the humanity of Prophet Muhammad.”
Big Hollywood blogger John Nolte isn't all too thrilled with the news, saying this about the film's respect for Islam by not picturing Muhammad: "If only such respect was extended to every major religion. Which isn’t to say religion, including Christianity, is above satire, but what we have here is another example of the mindset of those who control the most powerful propaganda machine ever created. Think about it: The Passion remains one of the most profitable films ever and yet an industry frequently ridiculed for reproducing ad nauseum anything resembling a hit will have none of it."
Nolte's post prompted this retort from LA Times blogger Patrick Goldstein: "The news has aroused a storm of derision from conservative bloggers, who always find a way to be offended by any high-minded Hollywood project."