The movie version of History's 2013 miniseries will not feature Mohamen Mehdi Ouazanni who plays the devil in the original biblical story.
"The Bible" producers have decided to cut the controversial Satan scenes for its movie release, "Son of God". The deleted footage features the devil portrayed by an actor that looked like President Barack Obama. It caused a buzz after airing last year on the History miniseries.
"It gives me great pleasure to tell you that the devil is on the cutting-room floor. This is now a movie about Jesus, the son of God, and the devil gets no more screen time," Roma Downey, who produced the movie with her husband Mark Burnett, said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.
Mohamen Mehdi Ouazanni played the Satan in the miniseries which is about 10 hours long. For the big screen, it is cut down to only two hours long. The removal is announced just days before the movie version gets a U.S. release on February 28 to avoid similar debates a year ago.
"Someone made a comment that the actor who played the devil vaguely resembled our president, and suddenly the media went nuts," Downey recalled the 2013 controversy. "The next day, when I was sure everyone would only be talking about Jesus, they were talking about Satan instead."
She went on, "For our movie, 'Son of God', I wanted all of the focus to be on Jesus. I want his name to be on the lips of everyone who sees this movie, so we cast Satan out. It gives me great pleasure to tell you that the devil is on the cutting-room floor."