By Charlie Schmidlin | The Playlist December 5, 2013 at 10:09AM
While most moviegoers found the logical and incomprehensible limits of pairing an iconic figure to a wacky occupation this past year with “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” and “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters," The History Channel has spotted new potential in the idea. Once the host to actual fact-based programming, the cable network now aims to expand upon its massively successful miniseries of “The Bible," by taking the same general concepts and adding—what else?—an appropriately bizarre supernatural twist.
Deadline reports that the channel is preparing a look into the story of Jesus’ untold years as a young adult, and they’re close to firming up negotiations with a trio of filmmaking horror folk to guide it. Producer/director Eli Roth, screenwriter Scott Kosar (“The Machinist”, “The Amityville Horror” remake), and producer Eric Newman (“The Thing” remake) are nearly set to board “The Lost Years” a project that is rumored to explore the prospect of Jesus as the original exorcist—so unique simply because the term began tied to Jesus’ name.
There’s no confirmation quite yet that this is the story path taken with the project (developed by Kosar, Roth, and Newman), which could appear as a regular series or miniseries, but considering the pedigree attached, we’d say a demon-hunting, flowing-robe depiction of Jesus is only the base level of madness we’re due to see. However, History has also teamed with Halle Berry (via Variety) for a miniseries closer to their name. “Hannibal” will focus on the famed general Hannibal Barca during the Second Punic War between Carthage and Rome, and also explore the dynamic between Hannibal and his rival Scipio Africanus, who later become allies. Berry will produce and the script will come courtesy of Jeffrey Caine (“The Constant Gardener”).
Meanwhile, over at FX, Louis C.K. currently enjoys the type of power and free reign with which he could probably greenlight an hour-long Jesus action drama, if interested. The network recently announced (via Variety) that C.K. has signed, with their Pig Newton banner, a multi-year deal utilizing his talents as a writer and director. He will oversee pilots and series “exclusively for FX Networks outlets,” a decision also saddled with the rights to take over creatively on any of the results. With “Louie,” a critical and audience hit, this move doesn’t entirely come as a surprise, but as C.K. starts to wind down the show—the fourth season begins in May—it will be interesting to see what he turns his Joss Whedon-esque clout to next.