Hollywood Prays for Laughs from the Faithful

With 'Evan Almighty,' Universal skews pious in comedy division
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 20, 2007 4:54 AM CDT
Hollywood Prays for Laughs from the Faithful
Steve Carell, star of the film "Evan Almighty," arrives at the premiere of the film at Universal Studios in Los Angeles, Sunday, June 10, 2007. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – God is returning to the big screen this Friday in Universal's Evan Almighty, a big-budget comedy aimed at the churchgoing. The LA TImes recalls that Hollywood used to balk at religiously-inflected films, but saw the light when Mel Gibson's spiritual blockbuster The Passion of the Christ raked in $370M in 2004.

Now studios are hoping they can score with more devout humor. Evan provides a new testament to 2003's Bruce Almighty, and stars funnyman Steve Carell as a modern-day Noah who mixes slapstick antics with overt spiritual messages. Universal teamed up with Grace Hill Media, a marketing firm that specializes in churches, to promote the pic to millions of believers. (Read more Evan Almighty stories.)

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