Hollywood is to fill in the Bible’s “missing years” with a story about Jesus as a wandering mystic who travelled across India, living in Buddhist monasteries and speaking out against the iniquities of the country’s caste system. Film producers have delved deep into revisionist scholarship to piece together what they say was Jesus’s life between the ages of 13 and 30, a period untouched by the recognised gospels.
The result is the Aquarian Gospel, a $20m movie, which portrays Jesus as a holy man and teacher inspired by a myriad of eastern religions in India. The Aquarian Gospel takes its name from a century-old book that examined Christianity’s eastern roots and is in its 53rd reprint.
The film’s producers say the movie will be shot using actors and computer animation like 300, the retelling of the Battle of Thermopylae, and will follow the travels of Yeshua, believed to be the name for Jesus in Aramaic, from the Middle East to India. Casting for suitable Bollywood and Hollywood actors has begun.
“The Bible devotes just seven words to the most formative years of Yeshua’s life saying: ‘The boy grew in wisdom and stature’. The [film] will follow Christ’s journey to the east where he encounters other traditions, and discovers the principles that are the bedrock of all the world’s great religions,” said Drew Heriot, the film’s director, whose credits include the cult hit The Secret.
The film, which is due for release in 2009, sets out to be a fantasy action adventure account of Jesus’s life with the three wise men as his mentors. Although the producers say the film will feature a “young and beautiful” princess, it is not clear whether Jesus is to have a love interest.