Prophet Joseph Smith Subject of Next Richard Dutcher Film
Salt Lake City, UT-In a press conference earlier today, filmmaker Richard Dutcher announced that the subject of his next film will be the life of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr.
With a working title of THE PROPHET: The Story of Joseph Smith, Jr., this will be Dutcher’s first big- budget film, with a projected budget of $10 million. Funding for the film is still being arranged.
Pre-production on the film begins immediately, and principle photography is expected to begin this fall at locations in Canada, New York and the Mid-West.
Dutcher has already begun assembling his production team for the film. Renowned author and professor of American history Richard Bushman will act as historical advisor for the film. Bushman has authored or co-authored 6 books on Mormonism and religion in nineteenth century America, including the recently acclaimed Mormons in America.
Dutcher, an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, felt it an important step for himself as a filmmaker to tackle one of the most important stories for members of the Church.
“This is the story I’ve wanted to tell,” says Dutcher. “Joseph Smith’s story is relevant and important not only to the Mormon people, but to American history and even world history.” The church founded by Joseph Smith has grown to become a major world religion, one of the fastest-growing in the world.
Joseph Smith, Jr. is revered by members of the Church as a prophet. He established the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in 1830, and was responsible for publication of the Book of Mormon, which Mormons believe to be a companion volume of scripture to the Bible. He is widely regarded as one of the most important, if not controversial religious and political figures of the nineteenth century.
Dutcher made his mark as an independent filmmaker in 2000 with the surprise hit GOD’S ARMY, the modern-day story of Mormon missionaries in Los Angeles. Dutcher’s current film, BRIGHAM CITY, is still in theaters nationwide, and has been garnering excellent reviews from critics, including the Chicago Tribune, the Dallas Morning News, Box Office, Variety and the Hollywood Reporter.
Jeff Simpson, president of Excel Entertainment Group, says that the time is right for the release of a film like THE PROPHET. “With the release of films like GOD’S ARMY and BRIGHAM CITY, we’ve shown that films about faith have an important audience, one larger than most would have expected. Richard has grown as a filmmaker and we’ve grown as a distributor over the last few years. We’re ready for something big.”
2001 Meridian Magazine. All Rights Reserved.