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Jim Caviezel as the voice of Jesus

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The Bible Gets the Hollywood Treatment

By Dan Wooding
Founder, ASSIST News Service


CBN.comCHICAGO, IL (ANS) -- This October, the Bible will have its own star-studded release.

According to a news release from Tolly Moseley of Phenix & Phenix Literary Publicists, Academy Awards® winners Jon Voight, Richard Dreyfuss, Marcia Gay Harden, Lou Gossett, Jr., and hundreds of other actors have joined together to create The Word of Promise® Audio Bible, a dramatic audio theater production.

After three years of production, the 90+ hour project will be released through Thomas Nelson, Inc. in a special 79 CD box set collection or 11 MP3 CD offering with a bonus features DVD. The product will hit bookstores early October.

“This Bible project, I think, is going to be the most important thing that I have ever done, or have ever been associated with,” says John Rhys-Davies (The Lord of the Rings trilogy), who portrays King Saul in the Old Testament. “As a piece of theater, it just completely swept me away. I found myself more excited by stories that I knew before, than I had ever been.”

The release goes on to say that producer Carl Amari, known by many for his popular The Twilight Zone™ Radio Dramas, led The Word of Promise® endeavor and approached Cannes Award-winning JoBe Cerny to join him in 2006 as the director of the project.

“It feels like my entire career has been preparation for this one project. When Carl called me to do it, it felt like the kind of call you wait your whole life to get,” says Cerny. “In my line of work, actors always ask ‘what’s my motivation?’ before they start a scene. The Bible is about people searching for their motivation, their purpose in life. It truly was a director’s dream project.”

After 6,000 hours each of studio time, eight recording studios, and over 175,000 takes, Cerny and Amari have completed what is arguably the most ambitious dramatization of the Bible ever taken.

“We wanted every single moment to be exciting for the listener, like they were really there experiencing the parting of the Red Sea, Jonah and the whale, and Jesus’ teachings,” says Amari. “We wanted to create an experience for Christians and non-Christians alike, where they get to be a part of an incredible drama, “adds Cerny.

For The Word of Promise®, Cerny directed Hollywood heavyweights including Gary Sinise as David, Jesse McCartney as young David and Daniel, Stacy Keach as Paul and Job, Malcolm McDowell as Solomon, Joan Allen as Deborah, Lou Diamond Phillips as Mark, Luke Perry as Judas, Ernie Hudson as Peter, Sean Astin as Elihu, Harry Hamlin as Nehemiah, Jim Caviezel as Jesus, Martin Jarvis as the voice of God, and many more. He also led top Foley artists in creating gripping sound effects using both high-tech equipment and everyday items, such as raw chicken breasts thrown onto a cement slab for the plague of the frogs in Exodus. See full cast list here.

“I have never before composed and conducted so many hours of music for one project,” notes Italian composer Stefano Mainetti, who scored over 100 hours of original music for The Word of Promise® in Bulgaria and Rome. “This daily contact has definitely had an influence over me.”

“Carl and JoBe are approaching it with a seriousness and a passion that I think is admirable. They are literally trying to bring alive the New Testament and the Old Testament in a way that is engaging, thoughtful, and truly professional,” notes actor Jason Alexander (Seinfeld) who voices Joseph. “It’s actually being done with an integrity that I rather admire. That’s why I was delighted to be a part of it.”

Carl Amari is the President and CEO of Falcon Picture Group, a Chicago-based production, development and distribution company dedicated to family-friendly audio, video and DVD products. Jobe Cerny is an award-winning international speaker, the president of Cerny American Creative, and has garnered more than 450 awards during his acting, directing, and voice-over personality career.

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