Notes on the First Draft of The Nativity Story

The Nativity Story, which opened in theaters this past weekend, is sure to be used as a teaching tool in Sunday School and CCD for years to come. While the film sticks to biblical plot, the first draft of the script strayed quite a bit from scripture and certainly would have angered the public. The studio did its best to try and hide this draft, however, we managed to get our hands on the notes studio execs sent to writer Mike Rich.

Mike, great script, creative interpretation of the Nativity. This is sure to go down as a holiday classic. However, your interpretation may have gotten a little too creative and we’re going to have to ask you to make some changes.

P. 10

The Three Wise Men did not consist of a fiddler, a butcher and bodybuilder nor did they bare gifts of “a sweet little diddy, a 12-ounce steak and 30 free days of personal training.” While we appreciate that you’ve gone to great lengths to develop these characters, one as a conservative, one as a liberal and one as an anarchist, it is historically inaccurate to have them constantly arguing about issues that did not exist in the first century such as global warming and welfare reform.

P. 15

While you are correct that Zachariah lost his voice because he refused to believe the Lord that his wife Elizabeth could bare a child in her old age, the Lord did not also give him a persistent running nose, a stuffy head and a dry cough.

P. 21

Christmas as we know it, did not exist before the birth of Christ. Therefore, it would have been impossible for King Herod to “steal Christmas” from the villagers as you have him vowing to do here.

P. 32

This part is very confusing. You have the Holy City of Jerusalem in the first century with an underground mass transit subway system. This technology did not exist until almost two thousand years later. The confusing part is that you seem to realize this through your dialogue, because everyone keeps pointing at it and no one knows what it is.

P. 49

Mules don’t have wheels.

P. 52

First of all, Frosty the Snowman was never the mayor of Bethlehem. You depict him in this scene on his death bed, melting at a rapid rate in the Middle Eastern heat, leaving one to wonder how he made it to the region in the first place, let alone survive long enough to develop the political ties to be chosen as the town’s mayor. Also, the scene where Frosty is visited by three ghosts simply wastes time, a lot of time, especially given the fact that these ghosts teach him no life lessons, but instead just want to shoot the breeze.

P. 72

On their way to the manager, Mary and Joseph should not be singing “Away in the Manger” since it depicts future events or afterwards sing “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer” as the concept of a reindeer is foreign to the portrayed place and time.

P. 79

Mary and Joseph did not have a room at the inn and they certainly did not get kicked out of that room for ‘ordering too much room service.’

P. 85

While you may be trying to give the film a broad appeal here, some may be offended by your depiction of King Herod’s army being cut off and destroyed by Santa Claus. Also, children may be traumatized by seeing St. Nick strangling the captain of the army with a rope of sleigh bells while saying “now that’s what I call ‘slay bells.”

P. 90

The star in the east let shone a still beam of light over the manger. It did not move around like a spotlight to illuminate whoever was talking. If it did, it certainly would not have illuminated people who were not talking, forcing them to say something awkward, as your depiction of the beam of starlight does.

P. 110

Here you have Christ, not two seconds after he is born, launching directly into the Sermon on the Mount. You may be missing a few pages in your bible.

Mike, fix these items and we’ll be happy to give this film the green light.

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