November 1, 2008

Muhammad Film to Start Shooting Soon

Hollywood producer Oscar Zoghbi says he is working on a new movie about the life of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.

The BBC quoted Zoghbi as saying he will start shooting "The Messenger of Peace" soon and, in keeping with Muslim tradition, will not allow the faces and voices of the prophet and his companions to be seen or heard on screen.

Zoghbi said his movie is a remake of the 1977 feature "The Message," which starred Anthony Quinn as Muhammad's uncle. The producer said his team had "only the utmost respect" for the original.

"But technology in cinema has advanced since the 1970s and this latest project will employ modern film techniques in its renewal of the first film's core messages," the BBC quoted Zoghbi as saying.

"There is a real need for a film that emotionally engages audiences on the journey that led to the birth of Islam," screenwriter Ramsey Thomas added.

In "The Message," the prophet was represented by music and subjective camerawork that showed the action from Muhammad's point of view, the BBC noted.

The son of Moustapha Akkad, the late director of "The Message," insisted in a statement to The New York Times that "Messenger" is not a remake of his father's movie since Zoghbi doesn't have rights to the original.