Report: History Channel Plans Jesus Series With Horror Movie Makers

The History Channel has been mocked when it's tried to score better ratings by avoiding history altogether, as with its reality shows like "Ice Road Truckers." PBS mocked it with an ad campaign touting fake shows like "Knitting Wars." But now the channel is really inventing history.

Nellie Andreeva at Deadline Hollywood reports the channel has turned to three horror-movie veterans -- including Eli Roth of the "Hostel" series -- to produce a "more controversial look" at the early years of Jesus called "The Lost Years." As in years historians and the Bible haven't fleshed out.

I’ve learned that the network is finalizing deals for the project, from feature writer Scott Kosar (The Machinist) and producers Eli Roth (the Hostel franchise) and Eric Newman (The Thing). Titled The Lost Years, the drama explores the undocumented years of Jesus’ life as a young adult. There is very little information about Jesus’ life from about the age of 13, following a pilgrimage to Jerusalem he took with his parents, to age 30, when he began his ministry and was baptized by John the Baptist. Because the project is in very early stages, it is unclear whether it would be developed as a regular series or a miniseries.

The Lost Years is based on an original idea by Kosar who developed it with Roth and Newman. All three have strong horror pedigree — Kosar co-wrote The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Amityville Horror and The Crazies, and Roth and Newman jointly produced The Last Exorcism franchise in addition to their other horror credits. That is not a coincidence — nor is Roth and Newman’s exorcism connection. I hear that The Lost Years was conceived in the horror genre, and it explores a theory about Jesus’ origins as an exorcist.

The Bible does tell of Jesus casting out demons, but that came after he began his ministry. Did anyone consider how "Young Indiana Jones" performed on cable TV?

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis