A Hollywood producer takes on Prophet Muhammad - Macleans.ca

A Hollywood producer takes on Prophet Muhammad

It’s only fair—Moses and Jesus already have their own biopics


Less than a decade after producer Barry Osborne did the impossible and brought—with a little help from director Peter Jackson—the seemingly un-filmable Lord of the Rings trilogy to the big screen, his new project is also another epic: the life of the Prophet Muhammad. The US$150-million English language film is expected to go into production in 2011. There will be one major difference from most movies: because images of Muhammad are considered blasphemous, the film won’t actually depict the founder of Islam.


Filed under:

A Hollywood producer takes on Prophet Muhammad

  1. This is a ridiculous.

    A movie about a historical figure in which said figure does NOT appear?

    What a horrible precedent this is setting. The arts and sciences are supposed to be above censorship.

    • Don't worry. It isn't as if it is going to mollify anyone.

    • nobody is above Allah Al-Mighty and his prophets

    • The arts and sciences shouldn't be above censorship which is valid. In this case, it is valid.

      • Maan if you are willing to make a movie about our prophet with his appearance and do it without any muslim help, and fund it on your own then go ahead and try. We all know that certain people have already tried similar stuff and you know well how it has been approved. You can’t mess with beliefs of almost 2 billion people and expect to tell this is art and gou out clean. I think art is not important as you say it is. At the end, science and engineering are the fields that give us power to do things. Not art. Art has its limits.

  2. Why would this be considered impossible? There was a 1976 film about Mohammad with Anthony Quinn called "Muhammad, Messenger of Allah" or "The Message". If they could make a film in 1977 what's the big deal about making one over 30 years later? Oh yeah, now if certain groups disagree with the portrayal, they'll riot, burn down buildings and issue fatwas against all associated with the movie.

  3. Coward.

  4. I'm not sure I understand the whole controversy around showing/not showing Mohammad. I understand that Muslims consider it to be blasphemous. My confusion is why the rest of us can't just be respectful of that and not show him.

    Again, I could be completely missing a huge part of this controversy, but I'd like it if someone can explain it to me. I hope it's not just a case of "we can show him if we want to, and if it pisses them off, that's their problem", because that just seems like it would be done to intentionally piss Muslims off.

    • thank you..finally someone said something smart on here

    • Great response. This is a clear sign of respect towards our religion. Thank you Kurt!!!

  5. I don't see that making a movie about the life of Mohammed (and actually including him) is disrespectful in and of itself, as long as it sticks to the "facts" and doesn't go out of its way to be offensive. There's bound to be at least some controversy (since the "facts" will vary depending on who you ask), but hopefully there won't be any riots or fatwas. If done right, making a movie like this could actually be a good step towards explaining Islam to those of us who can't read Arabic. I just hope this director doesn't turn out to be the Muslim version of Mel Gibson.

    My understanding (and someone please correct me if I'm wrong) is that the ban on Muslims depicting the prophet was initially intended to prevent them from practicing idolatry, which was pretty widespread at the time. It makes no sense to extend such a rule to non-believers, so either the justification for the rule has changed (or been forgotten) at some point or people are just using these incidents to further some other agenda.

    • why cant you just respect the fact that Muslims dont want to show the prophet..yes its the 21st century but Islam is the only religion that has not been changed and never will
      so if it really bothers you ..dont watch the movie =)

    • Actually, the ban is also associated with no one being 'worthy' of impersonating him. In other words, he can't be impersonated even if its for the sake of producing a film because that is a disrespectful expression (i.e. thinking that any human can assume his role even in a temporary sense).

  6. to some extent the radicals win by always using the threat of violence to silence free speech
    a few hundred years ago Christians used the same tactic

    • and within the last century, atheists used that tactic as well,

      • i don't follow you here it's the religious people who tyranize the world because of how they interpret their book …imagine all the people, living for today?

  7. To answer the question , The Prophet Mohammed like all prophets ( Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus etc ) was perfect and pure he was the the last Prophet as accepted by all muslims. Muslims consider movies showing men playing the parts of Moses and Jesus just as offensive. This is something that is never spoken about . We belive in all the prophets its a fundamental part of our belief, if we reject the prophets , Jesus , Moses etc we are not muslims.
    I know of many Christians and Jews who were not happy when Hollywood actors played the part of their Prophets…I guess Muslims make it a bigger deal about it and make more noise therefore freedom of speecg is great if you can get a billion voices complaining about an issue maybe someone will listen to your complaints
    http://www.irf.net is a great site for comparitive religion if one wants to find out more

  8. allah hu akbar.. (god is the greatest).. finally someone has come to thier senses and come to the conclusion of makin a movie on the most greatest man that ever lived in history prohet muhammed (pbuh)… i seen the movie which were very good and appreciated that faces were not shown as people would take it the wrong way and would probably retaliate… i think peter jackson has made a good move by creating this movie so at least someone can open the hearts and minds of muslim and non muslim people.. i just hope peter jackson also involves the 2 greatest men after the prohet muhammed (pbuh) abu bakr (ra) the best friend of the prohet muhammed (pbuh) and umar ibn khattab (ra) the 2nd caliph of islam… as it were abu bakr (ra) who opened the roman empire and the persian empire.. then after his death it were umar ibn khattab who spreaded islam without arrogance and ignorrance and put it into people hearts that islam is a way of life which is peace and is not extreme in any way…

  9. Making a movie on the prophet Muhummad, i don't belived it will have a big impact on the way others sees us. i hope how ever making the movie i hope they will use the authentic word of the prophet of humanity.which will find in the book of Hadith Al bukari & Muslim.
    regarding to show the prophet face on screen it's not a good thing's because when you think of Moses you always think of Charlton Heston orBurt Lancaster, for Jesus of nazareth when you think of jesus you always visualize him as Robert Powell. as of respect of there status, that why it's not good to put a the face of the prophet.

  10. science and art are above censor its ridicullous because if science and art hurt a particular religion /people/individual is it good rathe isnt it ridicullus that your art piece make other people angry/hurt or your invention like atomic bomb destroy humanity/so why the art and science beyond any restriction.
    muhammad is our prophet and his companions are the best personanality in the whom we should be followed in our everyday life.so any visualition of them hut=rt the muslims and make them angry.
    and it is violation of the so callled human rights(western style) that you hurt other religion.

  11. wow, I really cant wait! For tose of you wondering how they will manage to show his biography without showing him in the image, there is a 1970s movie of his life called "The MESSAGE". Its a really good movie.

    The only difference expected in this movie is that it should be more accurate, longer, say 4hrs? or 5…muhammed (may peace be upon him) had a really long life. Also not to mention the quality in the pictures should be a lot better then 40 years ago!

    You guys, i would like to remind you all that, Muhammad is…
    1. The most popular name on the planet
    2. The most reminded fegure on te planet (20 percent of the world are muslims, muslim are required to study his life)
    3. The most praised person on the planet (20 percent of the world praises him, remember that!), not to mention that his name in arabic also means: "the most praised"
    4. The most loved and respected person ever lived. Muslims are taught to say: "may peace be upon him" "(PBUH)"after the mention of his name.
    5. The most remembered. how many of you remember a guy more then 1400 hundred years ago, and still keep his sayings and teachings in you daily lives and homes…volume of books of his saying in your home library, or your i-phone????

    NOW CONSIDERATING THIS, MUHAMMAD THE MOVIE IN NO DOUBT WILL BE THE BEST MOVIE EVER. after all…more then 20 percent of the population will be dieing to watch it.

    $150 million. shoot in 2011? Now thats a reasonable amount and time for a movie about the greatest man who ever stood on earth!

    May peace be upon Muhammed. And All praise be to God for he is the only one that can make this movie an actual success.

    • Amen!

  12. so what if they are making another prophet muhammad(s)?
    so what?
    do you guy's even know how many jesus christs movies they make every year?
    they make a jesus film every year, and they are not aloud to make 2 muhammad(s)movie?

  13. I'm actually a devout Muslim, following the Shia sect.
    Its actually perfectly fine to show the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him and his family) in the Shia doctrine, as long as he is depicted in a glorified and respectful manner.
    Its the Sunni doctrine that doesn't allow the depiction.

    • well sunni are right they should not show the prophets face at all

    • Sorry dude intact ever school in Islam agrees that prophet Muhammad face is not to be shown as a sign of respect. Nthis does not only go with prophet Muhammad but also other prophet as well such as prophet jesus