On Saturday, Jay Nordlinger wrote:
Mark Steyn is hilarious and brilliant today, as always. He talks about Larry David’s pissing-on-Christ shtick. “Oh, those brave transgressive artists!” he says. They just love to scandalize the Christers. But what if they were “to start urinating in a more Mecca-ly direction”? Reminded me of something I wrote in Impromptus, way back in 2002 (here). This may seem like ancient history — you may have forgotten the movie — but here goes: “How much money would you pay to see the makers of The Last Temptation of Christ make a similar film about the Prophet Muhammad? How long would they be alive? An hour? An hour and fifteen minutes?”
Plus ça change, plus ça doesn’t change at all.
Kathy Shaidle notes that “Oscar-winning Hollywood movie producer Barrie Osborne (The Matrix, Lord of the Rings) is poised to spend $150-million to film a biopic of Mohammed.” Osborne promises “The film will educate people about the true meaning of Islam.” But in her Examiner.com column, Kathy’s more than a little skeptical.
Which is understandable — even filming a small scene involving The Religion of Peace™ brings pause to Hollywood filmmakers:
Roland Emmerich has admitted that he feared a fatwa would be placed on him if he filmed a scrapped scene for 2012.
The filmmaker is well known for decimating famed landmarks on movies including The Day After Tomorrow and Independence Day. He stated that while he decided to destroy the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro because he is “against organised religion”, he was fearful of the Islamic religious decree for a sequence that was planned but not shot.
The 53-year-old wanted to demolish the Kaaba, which is a cube-shaped building at the heart of Mecca and is the centre of prayers and the Islamic Hajj pilgrimage.
He told Sci-Fi Wire: “Well, I wanted to do that, I have to admit. But my co-writer Harald said I will not have a fatwa on my head because of a movie. And he was right. We have to all in the Western world think about this.
“You can actually let Christian symbols fall apart, but if you would do this with [an] Arab symbol, you would have a fatwa, and that sounds a little bit like what the state of this world is.
“So it’s just something which I kind of didn’t [think] was [an] important element, anyway, in the film, so I kind of left it out.”
“Kind of” being Hollywood shorthand for “I cut the entire scene out, lest I get killed for making a popcorn movie.”
But symbols of Christianity? Hollywood’s is free to laugh at ’em, pee on ’em, blow ’em up, and why not? It’s not like their worshipers will ever challenge us, thinks the average filmmaker.