Earlier this year we were treated to the news that Quicksilver is to appear not only in Avengers 2 which is being developed by Marvel Studios, but also in the upcoming X-Men movie which is being developed by 20th Century Fox. While it appears that the legal difficulties which could have arisen over the use of Quicksilver in two competing franchises were settled amicably, one wonders if the brouhaha brewing over the rights to Jesus can likewise be papered over so smoothly. Not to be outdone by Disney, 20th Century Fox yesterday announced it is also developing its own Jesus products. We were given unrestricted access to an unnamed Fox source. Here’s that interview in full:
Thank you for your time today. This is all a bit sudden. Why haven’t we heard anything about Jesus from Fox before?
“Now that The Estate of L. Ron Hubbard case has determined that Jesus will remain in the public domain, we see this as the chance to establish copyright over the character. Jesus’ message of a life of austerity and forgiveness for sins perfectly aligns with our financial goals. We intend, through our Jesus-related entertainment products, to show that Fox is the best steward for that message. Jesus, the brand, is too important to be left without representation.”
You said the character of Jesus being in the public domain is a chance to establish copyright. Isn’t that a bit paradoxical?
“Possibly. But paradoxes aren’t my department. They’re there specifically for the fanboys to argue about. Click bait, if you will.”
So what does Fox have in mind for Jesus?
“We’ve long had the classic pincer strategy in mind for establishing ownership over Jesus. One leg of that pincer is the TV series ‘Jesus: Warrior Monk’. Jesus was not just a thinker, but also a fighter, a revolutionary. He fought the Romans not just with words, but with deeds. We’re convinced that now is the time for an original TV series about wearing sandals and swinging swords against the tyranny of the Roman Empire. We want to show the visceral Jesus – Jesus the gladiator, Jesus the lover, Jesus the man – in all it’s blood, sweat and sex. It’s never been done before.”
And the second… uhmmm, leg of the pincer?
“We’re going to use the momentum generated from the series to quantum leap Jesus into phase one of what we’re calling our Shared Twentieth Century Fox Universe, or ‘STFU’ for short. It’s an original idea, something that’s never been done before, and we’re very proud of it. Starting with the The Fantastic Four reboot which explodes into multiplexes in 2015, all our superhero franchise films will exist in the same space, a shared universe if you will. So whether you’re enjoying the X-Men, Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, Jesus or any other property we can leverage, you can watch with the confidence that these stories all cohesively co-exist. You’ll be able to enjoy watching Jesus battle side-by-side with Professor X and the Thing against the likes of villains that our legal team are working on right now. Definitely Magneto though, as we’ve certainly got him. ”
So Jesus is getting his own standalone movie?
“Absolutely. That is absolutely depending on the success of ‘Warrior Monk’. Obviously Jesus doesn’t have the popularity of Wolverine or Deadpool, but even without the TV series he’s at least as popular as Colossus. So no matter what he’s going to have several supporting appearances in him. But with the TV series behind him we’re confident that there’s enough recognition to go ahead with a movie. We’ve got a script in development tentatively titled The Uncanny Jesus and his Amazing Apostles. It’s a totally original idea, never been done before. Jesus and his 12 apostles use their mutant abilities to get revenge against an unscrupulous casino owner who ripped off and humiliated Jesus’ oldest friend. It’s part heist caper, part philosophical treatise on the nature of revenge. Should one turn the other cheek, or should one extract an eye for an eye? Jesus is influenced by both views, but what he ultimately decides will surprise everyone. That’s all I can reveal from this press release I just read.”
Let’s go back a bit. Jesus is a mutant?
“Possibly. Making his superpowers the result of a mutation aligns him perfectly with our most successful franchise. But again, this isn’t set in stone. There’s also exposure to temporal rays during the quantum leap he undergoes to get into the STFU, or a radioactive bite from a scorpion’s sting as the finale to ‘Warrior Monk’ under consideration.”
At the start you talked about Jesus’ message…
“Did I? Sorry, times up.”