Far ahead of the May 19th film release of the “DaVinci Code“--adapted from the popular but controversial Dan Brown novel, Sony Motion Pictures corporation has decided to address the film’s numerous critics--by providing them a platform.
The plot of the book, and now film, makes claims that Jesus married and never rose from the dead, and that the Catholic Church, along with the apostolate Opus Dei, orchestrated a massive cover up of this information.
It has angered and frustrated Catholics and Protestants alike who point out that even fiction, oftentimes has great influence over people’s thinking.
Rather than sit back and let the controversy merely fuel ticket sales, Sony Pictures, who is releasing the film, starring Tom Hanks, has opted to launch a website housing essays and opinions of Christians who oppose the volatile storyline.
The site, which goes up today, will feature the likes of Richard J. Mouw, president of California’s Fuller Theological Seminary and Darrell L. Bock, a professor of New Testament studies and the author of “Breaking the Da Vinci Code.”
Some 45 critical essays by prominent Christian writers and scholars will be available to view at www.thedavincichallenge.com starting today.
The New York Times quoted Jim Kennedy, a spokesman for Sony Pictures, who said, "We believe this is unique and perhaps can set a tone for others…We've all seen how some movies can evoke great consternation in society in the past, and I think many people want to move towards a more educational and uplifting dialogue."
Some critics are concerned over the lack of Catholic authors on the site--something Sony Pictures says it wants to change, namely because of the primary role of the Church to the plot.
Undoubtedly, there are many candidates as well, including Carl Olson, who authored the book, “The Da Vinci Hoax”, and Kevin Knight, webmaster of the New Advent website, not to mention members of the ill-maligned Opus Dei group, described in the book.