Cultural Conversations by Daniel Blackaby March 29, 2023
Are We About to See the Beginning of the BCU (Bible Cinematic Universe)?
Cinematic Universes have become the ideal for many filmmakers and showrunners. Ever since Marvel demonstrated the absurd amount of money that can be mined from audiences invested in a multi-story universe, others have striven to capitalized on similar narrative approaches. DC Comics attempted to follow suit with the DCEU, Disney is taking a similar approach with their Star Wars shows, and Sony Studios tested the waters with their short-lived MonsterVerse. Well, now it seems that the next cinematic universe on the horizon will —quite literally—be one of biblical proportions.
Former DreamWorks executive Mark Sourian has been named as the President of Production for the wildly popular faith-based series The Chosen (produced by Angel Studios). The show, which recently wrapped its third season, began as the most successful crowd-funded show in history and has recently expanded its reach with several successful theatrical runs at the Hollywood Box office. The show, less than halfway through its guaranteed seven-season run, shows no signs of slowing down.
In an interview with Deadline, Sourian shared that despite some initial reservations about joining the project, he has come to believe in the vision: “This is a show that is an elevated show, and a show that isn’t trying to proselytize, and is something different than what’s been out there before.” Hiring Sourian, as well as several other recent additions to the executive and marketing team, seems to be paving the way for even more ambitious expansion.
Speaking further with Deadline, Sourian cast a vision for the future: “When you look at the Bible, not to sound crude, but it is a universe — not to describe it as the Marvel universe or the DC universe. But it is a universe with iconic figures and characters, and I include the Old Testament and the New Testament…There is a desire to tell a lot of different biblical stories, all of which are primal stories that have been told in one fashion or another, but have never been told specifically as they relate directly to the Bible…There’s a sense of an ever-increasing bandwidth for us to tell other stories that are about the Bible… So, I think my role and my title suggests a bigger universe and suggests the desire of The Chosen Inc. to delve into more of that.”
In other words, the BCU (Bible Cinematic Universe) is coming. While much has been said about the current “Golden Age of TV,” all signs point toward the boom of a golden age of faith-based content. In regard to both the quantity of stories and the quality of the production value, Bible-based entertainment is becoming more common. And if Sourian gets his way, it may just be getting started.