From the very beginnings of cinema right up to the present day, movies about Jesus have been one of the constants of cinematic history. From 1903’s Life and Passion of the Christ — one of the very first feature films—to Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ and beyond, the gospel story has continually undergone fresh transformations and renewed incarnations through the medium of film. In the same way that the canonical and non-canonical Gospels frame Jesus in different ways, so, too, do the frames of film, whether it be Jesus Christ Superstar or the Life of Brian. The first two-thirds of this course will chronicle part of this rich legacy. Yet, the life and passion of Christ have also influenced contemporary filmic constructions of the hero to such a degree that it is difficult to take the measure of characters like Frodo, Katniss Everdeen, Neo, or Luke Skywalker without being mindful of their role as Christ figures. The final third of this class, therefore, will examine this legacy as well.