The epic Biblical story of the Resurrection, as told through the eyes of a non-believer. Clavius (Joseph Fiennes), a powerful Roman military tribune, and his aide, Lucius (Tom Felton), are tasked with solving the mystery of what happened to Jesus (referred to by the Hebrew name Yeshua in the film) in the weeks following the crucifixion, in order to disprove the rumors of a risen Messiah and prevent an uprising in Jerusalem.
The biblical account of Yeshua’s crucifixion and resurrection has been portrayed on the big screen many times, so when LD Entertainment approached Kevin Reynolds to make a movie about the world-changing events of 2,000 years ago, the writer-director was determined to bring a fresh approach to the story. In contrast to previous versions, including Cecil B. DeMille’s 1927 silent film The King of Kings, 1965 blockbuster The Greatest Story Ever Told and Mel Gibson’s 2004 The Passion of the Christ, Reynolds imagined the narrative told though the skeptical eyes of a non-believer.
“We wanted to do something completely different from what had come before, so I came up with the idea that Risen would be told as a detective story,” he says.
Reynolds, who previously directed the blockbuster action film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and produced the Emmy®-nominated miniseries Hatfields & McCoys, is no stranger to iconic sagas. “We wanted the film to feel big and epic, but seen from a single character’s perspective,” he explains.
The concept clicked with producer and LD founder Mickey Liddell, who cycled through numerous scripts and directors after launching the project eight years ago. “I loved Kevin’s idea that our audience would be able to experience something ancient and sacred as if it were brand new,” Liddell says. “Kevin’s approach gives you the opportunity to put yourself in the shoes of Clavius, this skeptical Roman soldier who’s really confused about all these crazy things that are going on in Judea. He’s not searching for Christ’s body to further his political or religious agenda; he’s just following orders.”