Movies

'Bible' producers cast Satan out of film after Obama controversy

Feb. 18, 2014 at 10:24 AM ET

Get thee out of this movie, Satan. The life-of-Jesus-focused movie version of History's wildly-successful "The Bible" miniseries from 2013 will not include the devil, thanks to the controversy that erupted when the actor playing Satan was said to resemble President Obama. 

"It gives me great pleasure to tell you that the devil is on the cutting room floor," wrote producer Roma Downey in a USA Today editorial about "Son of God," the two-hour re-worked feature version of the 10-part "Bible." (Downey also appears in the movie and miniseries as Mary, mother of Christ; her co-producer is husband Mark Burnett.)

She blamed the actual devil for the devilment that led to many viewers noting a physical resemblance between the President and the actor (Mohamen Mehdi Ouazani) who played Satan in the miniseries.

"Anyone else think the Devil in #TheBible Sunday on History Channel looks exactly like That Guy?" tweeted Glenn Beck in March, which kicked off a social media storm. 

"Someone made a comment that the actor who played the devil vaguely resembled our president, and suddenly the media went nuts," wrote Downey. "The next day, when I was sure everyone would only be talking about Jesus, they were talking about Satan instead. ... I knew it was just like Satan the narcissist to make it all about him and create division. I am sure he loved being the center of attention for even one day."

And so, for "Son of God," Satan was given his walking papers. 

"This is now a movie about Jesus, the Son of God, and the devil gets no more screen time, no more distractions," said Downey.

Hallelujah!

"Son of God" opens in theaters on Feb. 28.

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