After Innocence Of Muslims, 2 Possible Muhammad Pics On The Way
More Muhammad pics are in the planning stages and this time, they may include cinematic quality. By now, just about every filmmaker or aspiring filmmaker knows that it's a full-on major taboo to depict the Prophet Muhammad in a movie. That rule doesn't just apply to the recent low-budget video that appeared on YouTube, Innocence of Muslims, which didn't exactly depict the Muslim prophet in the best of light, but any depiction is absolutely forbidden among Muslims or anyone else for that matter, at least according to the raging crowds that have rioted for the past two weeks in front of American missions around the Muslim world. But while depictions of Muhammad have remained mostly absent in Hollywood and Western movies throughout the decades, the anti-Islam pic may have had the unintended (or not) effect of opening up a floodgate - or at least a trickle - as at least two filmmakers are looking to make separate pics featuring the prophet, and if all goes according to plan, their budgets will likely be higher.
Leading the next possible wave of Muhammad projects are two ex-Muslims who are developing biopics that will give critical takes on Muhammad, according to the Los Angeles Times.
L.A. based Palestinian filmmaker, Mosab Hassan Yousef, told the paper he has cast a "prominent Hollywood actor" to play Muhamad in a project he says has a proposed budget of $30 million. The story would center on the prophet from age 12 until his death and would be reminiscent of Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ.
"My goal is to create this big mirror to show the Muslim world the true image of its leader," Yousef is quoted as saying. The one difference with the depiction of Jesus Christ, however, is that Yousef's take may be less of a glorified account of Muhammad than Gibson's Passion.
Yousef's book Son of Hamas tells of his journey from a "terrorist to Israeli spy to born-again Christian," according to L.A.T. He claims to not be 'anti-Muslim,' and says his mother is still a practicing member of the religion that claims 1.5 billion followers worldwide, but he apparently converted under the guidance of a radical Egyptian Christian - Father Zakaria Botros Henein - who has criticized Muhammad as a "pedophile and buffoon."
Even further along the way to becoming reality, is another film by an atheist raised in Iran, Ali Sina, which is said to be in pre-production and claims to have $2 million secured so far. Sina hopes to raise a total of $10 million for the project. Still untitled, the story will liken Muhammad to cult leaders Jim Jones or David Koresh. The Canadian resident plans to begin shooting the pic next year.
"We can bypass theaters completely and sell the movie online with a profit to a large number of people, especially Muslims," Sina said. "They can download it and watch it even if they are living in Karachi or Mecca or Medina."
Innocence of Muslims was actually not the first depiction of Muhammad in the West that incited violent reaction in the Muslim world. In 2005 and 2006, Danish publication Jyllands-Posten published a dozen cartoons that later sparked massive protests resulting in more than 100 deaths and the bombing of the Danish embassy in Pakistan in addition fires being set at the normally placid Scandinavian country's embassies in Syria, Lebanon and Iran. Its prime minister at the time described the controversy as Denmark's works international crisis since World War II.
[Source: Los Angeles Times]