EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Stephen Lindsay, Creator of Jesus Hates Zombies

<font color="red">EXCLUSIVE:</font> Interview with Stephen Lindsay, Creator of <em>Jesus Hates Zombies</em>

Stephen Lindsay talks about the film adaptation of Jesus Hates Zombies that will be directed by first-time director, actor Eric Belfour, of Haven and Six Feet Under fame.



Stephen, please tell us all about Jesus Hates Zombies.
Basically, the story is, a zombie plague takes over the Earth. God doesn't really care anymore, and sees humanity as a failed experiment. Jesus sees this as an opportunity to really show what he can do. Unfortunately, when he gets here he realizes his powers are based on faith, and not a lot of people are left, not a lot of faith. So, he's left as a blue collar guy that really cares about humanity. He is trying to figure out how to unite them and stop the zombie plague.


Are you very religious? Is that how this came about? Or, maybe you just like zombies and wanted to bring a different aspect to that genre?
I'm definitely not religious. I went through seven years of Catholic school. In that time I always saw everything that we were learning more or less, as interesting stories as opposed to something I was gonna live my life by. As I grew into an adult I wanted to see Jesus explored from a different perspective. We really only get one view of him, anything that's in the bible. So, I wanted to say, "Okay, what would this guy be like if he had to live in my mind for awhile?"


What type of powers does he have when the faith is strong?
When the faith is strong he has the water into wine power.

He is a pop culture junky. The way I have it up in heaven there is a lot of time to do whatever you want. And with Jesus being so interested in humanity he tends to watch movies and be interested in everything. So, he almost sees himself as a Jedi. Those are the types of powers he would have if he had the ability too, unfortunately he doesn't get to unleash those.


Is his goal to kill zombies? Or, is it to restore faith in religion so that he can become more powerful?
Actually, his goal is to restore faith in humanity itself. That's what he wants to see ultimately, is for people to believe in themselves more as opposed to believing in him. Because it's more he believes in them.


What type of zombies do we have?
The way I like to view zombies is, a recently turned zombie would be moving faster than an old decaying zombie. So, they run the gambit. Someone just bitten who has just died there isn't a lot of rigor mortis or decay, there gonna move faster, but the longer their around the quicker that they'll decay, the less mobile they are gonna be.


Hopefully this gets turned into a movie. Anything happening on that end?
Yes actually, the rights were optioned by a company called Mean Time Productions. Which is run by a guy named Mike Mongillo, who also wrote the screenplay. It's being produced by Molly Elfman, daughter of Danny Elfman, the composer.

It's going to be directed by Eric Belfour, who stars in the show Haven, and he was in Skyline last year. He was in Six Feet Under, he's been in a ton of stuff. He recently got into directing. Working with him has been brilliant. He has a passion for the project, he respects the source material. But I respect that it's their interpretation of it. So far it's coming along really great!


A lot of times the creator is left out in the cold. Do you have any say?
Well one of the things I did when I optioned it was, I decided I wasn't going to write the screenplay. They wanted to turn it into their thing, and I can respect that, I'm cool with that. Being an unknown guy, when a small production company is looking for financing having someone like me write the screenplay doesn't help, lend a lot to it. But that being said, Eric has really kept me in the loop as far as decisions that their making. He wants to know my opinion on the things that their doing, because he wants it to stay faithful. He understands that the books have a fan base, and he doesn't want to alienate that fan base just because it's being turned into a movie.


Who is your ideal actor to play Jesus?
Originally when all this was just a pipe dream I had no conception of it at all of being a movie. I always thought Aaron Eckhart would be a really cool Jesus, based on the character he played in Erin Brockovich. You know he was a biker a little rough around the edges. Just a blue collar guy, a nice guy, you saw his humanity. And I immediately thought that would be my Jesus.

That being said, I hear things about casting that their doing that I can't talk about yet. Its really cool and really exciting. And its directions I would have never would've thought of, but as soon as I heard it I was like, that is brilliant. So, once contracts are signed and everything thing is official, I'll be really excited to tell yah about the names their putting into this movie.


What type of movie do you see, tone wise?
Oooh, that is a good question. What I would love to see is a Shaun of the Dead type of thing. Where the comedy comes from the situation, not trying to be funny, but the absurdity of it. I'd like to see it be character driven. I'd love to see how Jesus is portrayed in this as a character as a blue collar guy, someone willing to put his own life on the line for humanity because he believes in them. That lends itself to a lot of funny moments as well. Definitely not a tongue cheek, but action comedy like Shaun of the Dead.


What projects are you currently working on? Do you have anything new coming up?
I'm continuing the Jesus Hates Zombies books right now. There are six total volumes out at the moment. Two more planned and then I got ideas for stuff after that as well. I really want to finish up Jesus Hates Zombies before diving into something else.


Any announcements on the move that you're expecting? When can we expect the movie?
I know they are planning to film next year, probably mid to late summer for a 2013 release.



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