"Son of God" won't be giving the devil his due — or rather, his screen time.
To avoid another controversy about the character of Satan bearing a physical resemblance to President
"It gives me great pleasure to tell you that the devil is on the cutting-room floor," producer
"Son of God," which opens Feb. 28 from
"The Bible" was a huge ratings hit, and it attracted further attention in March when a number of viewers, including conservative pundit
In light of the popularity of "The Bible" among conservative Christians, as well as Obama's relative unpopularity with the same demographic, some viewers wondered whether the film was making a political statement via its casting. In response, the History Channel issued a statement denying any link between Obama and Satan.
"History Channel has the highest respect for President Obama," the statement said. "It's unfortunate that anyone made this false connection. History's 'The Bible' is meant to enlighten people on its rich stories and deep history."
Downey and husband
"The actor who played Satan, Mehdi Ouzaani, is a highly acclaimed Moroccan actor. He has previously played parts in several Biblical epics — including satanic characters long before Barack Obama was elected as our president."
This time they're seeking to avoid a similar frenzy. "Someone made a comment that the actor who played the devil vaguely resembled our president, and suddenly the media went nuts," Downey said. For the movie version she said, "I wanted all of the focus to be on Jesus."