Posted by: raddestnerd | July 14, 2008

The Fifth Element: Plagiarizing God

If you look at the credits for a movie very carefully you’ll notice a distinction between the word “and” versus the “&” symbol.

If you see movie credits that read: “Written by Bob Bobson and Alex Alexander,” it means that Bob first wrote the script, then when Bob was finished, Alex came along and reshaped it afterward. But, if Bob and Alex sat down together and wrote the script together simultaneously as a team, the credit is modified to reflect that collaboration: “Written by Bob Bobson & Alex Alexander.”

You’ll also notice that if the screenwriter did not originate the story, but it came from somewhere else like a novel or a TV show, they’ll always be sure to say that the film is “based on…” something.

All that to say: I recently saw ‘The Fifth Element’ for the first time because my friends kept saying it was a good movie. And I thoroughly enjoyed it; what I loved so much is that it borrowed (though not too heavily) from the Christ-story.

In fact, most movies that I enjoy to the point of willing to purchase it DVD, borrow something from God’s Story, recorded in the Bible, played out on the stage of Human History.

But, God never gets the credit… until recently. Films such as, “Narnia,” “Superman Returns” have had their filmmakers say that they are alluding or drawing elements from God’s Story.

And the latest to follow this trend is “The Day the Earth Stood Still.” Here’s director Scott Derrickson on his remake starring Keanu Reeves and Jennifer Connelley:

“I think the Christ-myth stories make great stories, whether it’s ‘The Matrix’ or ‘Braveheart,’ they all are tapping into some kind of deep myth in our DNA, and by myth I don’t necessarily mean false. I mean something that has mythological power and that’s definitely part of the story [of ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’] and part of what attracts me to it. My approach to that was to not discard that, but to be not quite as direct as the original [1951 version].”

Whether we do it consciously or not, I think it’s high time we started “plagiarizing” God’s Story more often; I believe it’s the best kind of story there is to tell.



  1. very interesting. c.s. lewis had a similar theory about too. many myths and universally valued themes seem to “plagiarize God.”

    there are certain laws written in our hearts, and indeed He has written “eternity in the hearts of men” that they would seek Him.

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