Killing Jesus, the TV movie based on the book of the same name by Bill O’Reilly, has some new, stunning art created by Sam Spratt, a modern Caravaggio.
“Killing Jesus Key Art illustration for National Geographic Channel. If I’ve been sharing art less than usual, it’s because of this painting, which, between the research, challenges, planning, painting, and revisions took just a bizarro chunk of my life away… I’ll be sharing a more in-depth dive as to how it came together in the future.”
Spratt — a 26-year-old painter and illustrator — did say that after working on another adaptation of a Bill O’Reilly novel, he was ready to put his skills to good use in the Killing Jesus art.
“After working with Nat Geo on the Killing Kennedy newsstand billboard illustrations, I think the opportunity to use painted imagery again was put into circulation, and a painting of a biblical scene of Jesus just seemed like a better fit to the execs than one of Wicked Tuna.”
It was a process to get the art for Killing Jesus finally commissioned and after pitching six ideas, Spratt went with this one. The stunning scene before Jesus’ crucifixion.
“While I’m not religious or Christian, there are just some pretty universal truths out there, regardless of belief system, one of which being that he’s easily one of the most — if not the most — influential figure of all time. Since I was painting him in a very vulnerable scene, making sure that he was portrayed in a strong and sympathetic light, engaging with the viewer while the action happened around him was a no brainer.”
“Killing Jesus details the events leading up to the murder of the most influential man in history: Jesus of Nazareth. Nearly two thousand years after this beloved and controversial young revolutionary was brutally killed by Roman soldiers, more than 2.2 billion human beings attempt to follow his teachings and believe he is God. Killing Jesus will take readers inside Jesus’ life, recounting the seismic political and historical events that made his death inevitable – and changed the world forever.”
The Killing Jesus art depicts Lebanese-American actor Haaz Sleiman, who will portray Jesus in the National Geographic movie. The best-selling novel was written in partnership with historian Martin Dugard and is a historic look at the last days in the life of Jesus Christ. The movie premieres on March 29.
[Image via Sam Spratt/National Geographic]