CATEGORIES Action, Drama, Foreign Language, Independent, Religious, Cinematical Indie, War, CinematicalEveryone in Hollywood just wants to direct, but when it comes to visual effects artists becoming full-fledged filmmakers, the results aren't always great. Among those who've made the transition, for better or worse, are Joe Johnston (Jurassic Park III), Eric Brevig (Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D), Colin and Greg Strause (Aliens vs. Predator - Requiem) and Neil Blomkamp (District 9).
Joining them now is Dean Wright, Oscar-nominated for effects work on The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and a veteran artist who had a hand in Titanic, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Kangaroo Jack and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Wright, who got some of his directing experience handling the second unit filming for The Return of the King, is already at work on a Jesus biopic called Kingdom Come, slated for release in 2010. And now, according to Variety, he's already set up his follow-up, another epic, titled Cristiada.
Scripted by Michael James Love (Gaby: A True Story) the historical film will tell of Mexico's Cristero War, which took place in the late 1920s between Catholic rebels and the anticlerical Mexican government of the time. While the actual war lasted from 1926 to 1929, its roots were in the 1857 Constitution of Mexico, which aimed to rid the nation of its heavy Catholic influence. Following the Mexican Revolution, the new 1917 Constitution revisited such provisions for religious persecution.
Cristiada will reportedly be Mexico's biggest production ever, though the film will be in English. Coming off the LOTR and Narnia films, we can probably expect large battle sequences and great set pieces, yet it's hard to imagine Wright needing to apply his visual effects experience here. Between this and his Biblical epic Kingdom Come, it's presumable the filmmaker is now less interested in fantasy and science fiction than movies celebrating Christianity. Considering The Passion of the Christ grossed around the same domestically as each of the LOTR installments, it doesn't seem like a lesser direction to go in, either.