Genre: Religious Satire, Tragicomedy
One Line Pitch:
Jesus’ Life Gets Ruined By The Smoke Monster From Lost
A shapeshifting monster manipulates Jesus of Nazareth during the course of his life into believing himself to be the son of God.
Where The Gospel of the Rauschmonstrum Comes From:
This script was based on the book I wrote by the same name. The story comes out of sitting in church as a teenager right around the time I decided I didn’t believe in God, and listening to these biblical stories be read aloud in church and deciding that these stories were outrageous enough where a shapeshifting monster would fit right in with everything else that was going on. This idea quickly paired up with my memory that Thomas Jefferson had made his own version of the bible by stripping away all of the divine parts from the gospels, as well as the concept of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies where original material is added to a public domain text.
I made an outline of the gospel stories I wanted to use, however I didn’t really know how to proceed beyond that point. Would I be writing prose or would I be cutting and pasting bible verses? I let my partial outline and notes sit for about four years before watching Jesus Christ Superstar, at which point I suddenly became interested in the source material again (it was the scene where Jesus meets Pilate for the first time which specifically piqued my interest). Afterwards, I read through the Gospels to decide which material to work with, and watched Passion of the Christ (brilliant) and Jesus of Nazareth, while also reading the The Last Temptation of Christ screenplay (I had seen the movie years prior and think it is the best version yet of Jesus on the screen). Organizing all the bible passages the way I wanted them and adding in Rauschmonstrum stuff was a pain, but hey it was a lot quicker than writing a book from scratch.
It honestly hadn’t occurred to me to write this story in screenplay format before I was finished with the book. However, once I had the idea of the Rauschmonstrum talking directly to the camera in soliloquy fashion, the idea of a screenplay adaptation seemed natural. If I had thought of this before, I honestly may have just done a script and never done it in book form. I think he rather resembles Iago or some other Shakespearean villain in this version, while in the book he’s more of a Cthulhu.