The rest of the Passion cast has been substituted with other big names, and there doesn't seem to be any affiliation with Newmarket Films or Mel Gibson, but obviously Nelson is using the connection to its advantage. Otherwise the real appeal of the audiobook, entitled The Word of Promise: New Testament, should be Terrence Stamp, who provides the voice of God, and Richard Dreyfuss, who plays Moses.
There will be a follow-up (or, should I say prequel?) to the audiobook that will be based on the Old Testament, and Stamp and Dreyfuss will return in their respective parts. Unfortunately, Caviezel's role will not be included. Neither will the parts played by Marisa Tomei, Lou Diamond Phillips, Kimberly Williams, Ernie Hudson, John Heard or Luke Perry (try to imagine Judas with Dylan McKay's sideburns).
Nelson's press release mentions that a number of Hollywood stars are expressing interest in the next release. The Christian Post points out that the Nelson audiobooks are following on the heels of another publisher's well-casted reading, Zondervan's The Bible Experience: New Testament. That controversial release, which is based on the Today's New International Version of the Bible and features Denzel Washington, Angela Bassett and Blair Underwood, arrived last fall with enormous success.
So, what I want to know is, what sells better, Christianity or Hollywood stars?