Risen, a mainstream movie about the resurrection of Christ, came in third at the box office its first weekend in theaters. Trailing behind movies such as "Deadpool" and "The Witch" the $20-million budget movie made made $11 million last weekend.
Directed by Kevin Reynolds and written by Reynolds and Paul Aiello, the film stars Joseph Fiennes, Tom Felton, Peter Firth and Cliff Curtis. The movie is about a Roman soldier's search for Jesus' body following his alleged resurrection. Clavius, a Roman tribune, who with his aide Lucius (Tom Felton) is commissioned to comb the city for Jesus' (Cliff Curtis) body and dispel rumours of a risen messiah to prevent unrest in Jerusalem before the emperor's visit.
New Testatment-inspired movies usually follow Jesus' storyline from his perspective or that of his followers, but Risen seeks to tell a different side of the story. It tells the story of Christ's resurrection from the perspective of the Romans.
"We have to think about the fact that when Jesus rose, the grave was empty. There were Romans that were there to guard it," proucer Peluso says. "What on earth was happening on the other side of the room that we're not paying attention to? Something had to happen. At some point, Caiaphas had to get the news that the tomb was empty, and at some point Caiaphas had to confront Pilate with it, who'd had him killed. Pilate, who had to have sanctioned the guards at the tomb had to have been embarrassed, because his military, who's the greatest army in the world, just failed in their job. So there are all of these political, spiritual, social dominoes that are falling...."
Writer-director Kevin Reynolds tackles the "most important manhunt in history" from a fresh perspective than many other faith-based films: that of a non-believer. The movie focuses more on the experience of the pagan Roman tribune than on the message of the Lord, although it does affirm the Christian doctrine of the resurrection.