The Remnant: An Adventist Cinematic Universe
After the critical and commercial success of last year’s Hacksaw Ridge, the film starring Andrew Garfield as the Seventh-day Adventist World War II conscientious objector Desmond Doss, Director Mel Gibson, with Summit Entertainment, has decided to move forward with plans for an Seventh-day-Adventist-themed cinematic universe. Styled after the extended film universes such as Marvel, DC, Star Wars, Warner Bros’ MonsterVerse, and the inevitable film series following Donald Trump’s wealthy supervillain team-up, the Seventh-day Adventist Cinematic Universe (SDACU) will span theatrical biopics, vlogs, 3ABN specials, a Doug Batchelor sermon series, and a special line of tracts which will be available for sale from GC-approved colporteurs.
According to Spectrum Magazine, the SDACU will spin out of the events of Hacksaw Ridge. To explain Desmond Doss’ appearance in the 19th century, Summit Entertainment will release a six-month anniversary special edition Blu-ray of Hacksaw Ridge this summer that will include a new post-credits scene. In this scene, which takes place shortly after his recovery from the war, Doss, out for a run, takes a tumble into a wormhole which spontaneously opens, and is transported to the year 1863. The first film, rumored to be titled The Remnant, will launch all of the aforementioned projects and will be directed by Gibson. The Remnant will chronicle the first team-up of the SDA founders, plus Desmond Doss, in their efforts to spread the Adventist Truth.
The film will open with the scene of Millerites gathered on October 22, 1844, the night of the Great Disappointment. Covering in brief key events in the foundation of Seventh-day Adventism, such as Ellen White’s first vision and some debates about theology between the founders, a majority of the film will take place in the 1860s to the early 20th century, when the church is formally organized and developed. The main conflict of The Remnant will be twofold: the persecution of the Founders by their contemporaries and the false theological ideas of Dr. John Harvey Kellogg. Gibson intends to take some creative license at this point to make the story more “cinematic,” but he assures “the root of the story will remain true to the Adventist message.”
According to Gibson, in the final act of the film, the corrupting panentheistic ideology of Dr. Kellogg, along with his problematic ideas of “racial purity” will manifest in “a visceral metaphorical-physical battle which invokes the Great Controversy, making it very real to the characters, and, hopefully, the audience.” This scene promises to be action-packed, and, says Gibson, “It will make even the most militaristic atheists think twice next time they try to use science to explain the beauty of the sunset.”
In an effort to portray Adventism as the global religion it is today, Gibson plans to cast a diverse array of actors as the SDA founders, including at least some who are actually aligned with the church in some way. Current forerunners are reported to include Lupita Nyong’o as Ellen G. White, Ryan Reynolds as James White, Chi McBride as Uriah Smith, Meagan Good as “Josephine” Bates (an experiment with gender-blind casting), Cesar Montano as J.N. Andrews, Morgan Freeman as God, and Angus T. Jones as series antagonist Dr. Kellogg. Additional roles to be cast include William Miller, Jesus, Samuel Sheffield Snow, Desmond Ford. Pastor Dwight Nelson of Andrews University’s Pioneer Memorial Church is rumored to have a post-credits cameo in an unrevealed role.
At this point, there is no word from the production team about the order in which subsequent biopics about the members of The Remnant may be produced. Sources within the project suggest that merchandise sales will have some say in this, where popularity of character plushies will gauge audience interest in each character, although we can expect years of male-led films before the studio will consider a biopic of Mrs. White or another female character.
One confirmed digital series will follow a young General Conference President Ted Wilson as he travels about the world as an agent of the Seventh-day Adventist crime-fighting agency Adventist Remnant Recruitment, Officer Wing (A.R.R.O.W.), on a holy mission to rout insurgencies within the church hoping to tempt followers with radical veganism. The series has at this point been optioned for pilot at Netflix for concurrent release next summer with The Remnant.
*An article from the April Fool's Issue. Don't take anything in this issue too seriously.