Bible Gets Star-Studded Audio Dramatization You can have "God" speak to you in the latest audio Bible, The Word of Promise. The dramatization features actors such as Jim Caviezel, Marisa Tomei and Terence Stamp as the voice of God.
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Bible Gets Star-Studded Audio Dramatization

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Bible Gets Star-Studded Audio Dramatization

Bible Gets Star-Studded Audio Dramatization

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ALEX CHADWICK, host:

This is DAY TO DAY. I'm Alex Chadwick.

ALEX COHEN, host:

And I'm Alex Cohen...

(Soundbite of excerpt from "The Word of Promise")

COHEN: Coming soon.

(Soundbite of excerpt from "The Word of Promise")

Mr. JIM CAVIEZEL (Actor): (As Jesus) Saul, why are you persecuting me?

Unidentified Man #1: (As Character) Who are you, Lord?

Mr. CAVIEZEL: (As Jesus) I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.

Unidentified Man #2: Starring Jim Caviezel as Jesus.

COHEN: No, it's not "The Passion of the Christ Part II." It's "The Word of Promise." A dramatic reading of the Bible which will fill 70 CDs. This elaborate audio production will feature the voices of Terence Stamp as God, Marisa Tomei as Mary Magdalene, and playing the role of Judas, Luke Perry -that's the dude from Beverly Hills 90210.

Who's behind this casting? That would be Carl Amari, the producer of "The Word of Promise." He joins us now from Chicago.

Welcome, Carl.

Mr. CARL AMARI (Produce, "The Word of Promise"): Well, thank you.

COHEN: Why do it in this format? You know, you've got celebrity voices, sound effects, music. Why do the Bible this way?

Mr. AMARI: I have three children. My wife and I, and we read the bible every night. And I couldn't really convey to them the magnitude of the words just reading it. And I felt that if I could bring in wonderful actors like Lou Gossett, Jr. and Stacy Keach and Jim Caviezel and Terence Stamp. I felt, if I could bring these great actors into the mix, and they would play the parts of the apostles and if there was this great sound effects and great music, it would be very dramatic and I think the Word would just permeate better.

COHEN: The role of God must have been a pretty tough one to fill. How did you choose Terence Stamp?

Mr. AMARI: Actually, he was my first choice because growing up I watched all the Superman movies and I remember that booming voice coming out of General Zod.

(Soundbite of scene from "Superman II")

Mr. TERENCE STAMP (Actor): (As General Zod) I see you all practiced and worshiping things that fly. Good. Rise before Zod. No. Kneel before Zod.

Mr. AMARI: And that voice just sticks with me how powerful and mellifluous it is and so we were able to get them. We contacted them and said would you like to play God?

(Soundbite of excerpt from "The Word of Promise")

Unidentified Man #3: And suddenly, a voice came from heaven.

Mr. STAMP: (As God) This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.

COHEN: In biblical times, of course, there wasn't any kind of audio recording equipment. So, you don't really actually have much in the way of, you know, historical references to check by. How do you kind of come up with what you think these voices should sound like?

Mr. AMARI: That's a great question. What we're doing is just looking at Scripture, reader the Scripture. There's also books that we've been using called "Men and Women of the Bible," which gives a very detailed description of these characters. And so, I read these descriptions and I think to myself, you know, who could portray this part? I mean, it's sort of like I think of the voice of Stacy Keach. This powerful voice. One of the most powerful voices of any actor and the part of Paul was this travelous(ph) world traveler and he was just as tough, rough, gruff guy.

(Soundbite of excerpt from "The Word of Promise")

Mr. STACY KEACH (Actor): (As Paul) The God of this people, Israel, chose our fathers and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt.

Mr. AMARI: That's how we're doing it. I mean, you know, the descriptions in these books and in the Scripture kind of give you clues as to what that person may or may not have been like. Like Richard Dreyfuss as Moses. You know, everyone who has watched "The Ten Commandments," they think of this big voice, you know, as Moses. You know, Charlton Heston-type voice.

(Soundbite of excerpt from "The Ten Commandments")

Mr. CHARLTON HESTON (Actor): (As Moses) If there is one more plague on Egypt, it is by your word that God will bring it and there has be so great a cry for throughout the land, that you will surely let the people go.

COHEN: But if you read Scripture, they talk about, Moses as kind of a weak speaker. He had a small voice in fact he had his brother do most of his speeches. He was uncomfortable doing speeches. And so, I wanted to find someone who didn't have a huge voice but who was a brilliant actor. And one of my favorite actors in the world is Richard Dreyfuss.

(Soundbite of excerpt from "The Word of Promise")

Mr. RICHARD DREYFUSS (Actor): (As Moses) The man who does those things shall live by them.

Mr. AMARI: And in fact, John Schneider plays James on our audio bible.

(Soundbite of excerpt from "The Word of Promise")

Mr. JOHN SCHNEIDER (Actor): (As James) Let no one say when he is tempted, I am tempted by God. For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he himself tempt anyone.

COHEN: He sounds a little bit more grown up since the days of running wild in the "Dukes of Hazard."

Mr. AMARI: Yeah. He's turned in the - what is the name of that car he used to drive?

COHEN: The General Lee.

Mr. AMARI: The General Lee. That's right. He's turned in the General Lee for the good book.

COHEN: Carl Amari is the producer of the audio recordings entitled "The Word of Promise." The first 20 CDs of the set will be available this fall. Thanks for chatting with us.

Mr. AMARI: Thank you very much.

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