Warner Bros. used the religious themes found in Man of Steel to market the superhero flick to churches ahead of its release in theaters.
In order to reach as many organizations as possible, the studio reportedly hired the services of Grace Hill Media. The company sent out nine pages of sermon notes to churches as well as arranged free screenings for pastors.
According to UPI, Baltimore pastor Quentin Scott said he was initially skeptical of Warner Bros. and the marketing campaign for Man of Steel. However, all of that changed when Scott decided to take in a screening of Zack Snyder’s superhero flick.
“When I sat and listened to the movie I actually saw it was the story of Christ, and the love of God was weaved into the story. If you give me another opportunity to talk to someone about Jesus Christ, and I can do that because of your movie, that’s a win for me, because it is about spreading the Gospel,” the pastor explained.
CNN reports the sermon notes provided by Grace Hill Media also outlined the connections between the story of Jesus and the adventures of Superman. Pepperdine University professor Craig Detweiler, the man responsible for penning the notes, said he hopes Christians will embrace certain aspects of pop culture instead of immediately dismissing them.
“All too often, religious communities have been defined by what they’re against. With a movie like `Man of Steel,’ this is a chance to celebrate a movie that affirms faith, sacrifice and service,” Detweiler explained.
When you break down the Man of Steel story to its essence, it’s easy to see the similarities. A man arrives on earth from the heavens with abilities he doesn’t fully understand. After being raised by a foster family, he sacrifices himself at the age of 33 for the sake of mankind. Some of the imagery in the movie could also be labeled as religious in nature.
Of course, not everyone is impressed with Hollywood’s effort to market the Superman movie to churches. Since the sermon notes suggest screening the Man of Steel trailer for congregations, many feel executives at Warner Bros. are simply using churches to line their own pockets.
“As [pastors] entertain their congregants with material pumped out from Hollywood’s sewers, lives are kept in bondage, and people’s souls are neglected,” Dublin Baptist Church deacon P.J. Wenzel said.
What do you think about Warner Bros. marketing Man of Steel to churches? Do you think the studio is simply using Christian pastors to help lure people into theaters?