Big Screen

Muhammad: The Biopic

Is Islam ready for a big-budget Hollywood blowout? Barrie Osborne, the producer of such blockbusters as The Lord of the Rings and The Matrix, has set to work on an English-language biopic about the Prophet Muhammad—despite an Islamic law that forbids the prophet from actually ever appearing on-screen. Still, the movie has a $150 million budget and is backed by a Qatari media company that put Muslim cleric Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi in charge as its theological consultant, according to the Guardian. At a press conference at the Doha Tribeca Film Festival, Sheikh al-Qaradawi said the film was a response to “the crusader-styled distortion of Islam [that] continues to influence [the] world population today,” reported the Gulf Times. Meanwhile, the cleric himself has been banned from Britain over his controversial views, which include reportedly supporting the stoning of homosexuals and pardoning the Holocaust, the London Times reports.