A biblical drama film, starring British actor James Faulkner as St Paul, has been dropped from cinematic release in the UK.
Paul, Apostle of Christ was scheduled to be released in UK cinemas today (Friday, 30th March), a week after its US release on 23rd March. However Affirm Films, a label of Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions, has now confirmed that the film will not be available to UK audiences until its release on DVD later this year.
“I can confirm that the film Paul, Apostle of Christ, will not be released theatrically in the UK,” a spokesperson from Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions/Affirm Films told The Universe.
“There are many factors which feed into which films are released in which territories around the world.
“However, we are very excited that the film will be readily accessible to audiences in the UK through digital, DVD and Blu-ray formats later this year,” the spokesperson added.
Faulkner, a lifelong Anglican who is known for his appearances in Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey and Da Vinci’s Demons, said he isn’t taking a lot of credit for his portrayal of St Paul.
“I didn’t play Paul, it played me,” he told Catholic News Service. “I was imbued with the spirit of Paul and I found it transforming.”
Faulkner attributes this, at least in part, to writer-director Andrew Hyatt.
“I felt I had been transformed by Andrew’s script and his direction. And an entire page of notes on how to play Paul – nothing precise but overall notes on how I should approach it. I’ve never had a director do something so tellingly about a character,” he said.
As well as Faulkner, the film stars American actor Jim Caviezel as St Luke. Caviezel, famous for his portrayal of Jesus in Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ in 2004, has high praise for his co-star.
“Who played Paul was a big part. When they got Faulkner, I knew they’ll be calling him Paul in the street just like they called me Jesus in the street” after The Passion, he said.
Picture: Jim Caviezel as Luke and James Faulkner as Paul are seen in the film Paul, Apostle of Christ. (Sony Pictures).