“Killing Jesus,” the highly anticipated TV movie from National Geographic Channel starring Haaz Sleiman, John Rhys-Davies, Kelsey Grammar, and many other talented Hollywood veterans, airs this coming Sunday, March 29 at 8/7 C. After viewing the film, I have to say: “Killing Jesus” stuck closer to the four Gospels in the Bible than I had expected. It is a Scott Free production (Ridley Scott’s production company), which — as I learned with “Exodus: Gods and Kings” (which Scott directed) — might mean a more liberal departure from the text and the intent of the Bible. “Killing Jesus,” however — adapted from the popular novel of the same name by political commentator Bill O’ Reilly and Martin Dugard — follows a generally faithful retelling of the Gospel accounts (with a few caveats, which I’ll explain below the Parent Guidance section) and adds an extremely well-researched thrill ride of factual, extra-Biblical political drama that existed in Israel during Jesus’ lifetime.
From the film’s press materials:
“More than 2.2 billion people around the globe follow the teachings and principles of Jesus of Nazareth, but the political, historical and social collusions that led to his brutal demise bring new context to the familiar story. KILLING JESUS dives deep inside the historical story of a man whose message and preachings led to his persecution and execution by a group of conspirators who saw him as a threat to their power.”