Freaky Friday news; plus, Swift Quakes, Hot Takes, and Remakes (ICYMI March 30, 2024)

Freaky Friday news; plus, Swift Quakes, Hot Takes, and Remakes (ICYMI March 30, 2024)

“In Case You Missed It” is a roundup of the news and stories in faith, culture, and entertainment over the past week that you might have missed, with some context that we hope you’ll find thought-provoking or interesting.

Our inaugural edition is for the week of March 24-30, 2024. This week was a big one for faith, culture, and entertainment, so let’s jump in—but gently, please.

Ars Technica reports that a Caltech/UCLA team detected a small but measurable earthquake caused—they think—by fans at the Taylor Swift concert jumping and dancing at the SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles. The tremors, which at its peak had a local magnitude equivalent to a 0.851 earthquake (similar to that of a volcano or a freight train), were so pronounced that the researchers were able to identify 43 of the 45 songs on Swift’s set list that night from the vibrations alone.

Put another way, Taylor Swift’s fanbase is literally earthshaking.

What song caused the most vibrations? Appropriately, “Shake It Off.”

A sequel (not a remake) to the 2003 crowd-pleaser is incoming, apparently buoyed almost entirely by Jamie Lee Curtis’ and Lindsay Lohan’s sheer charisma and force of will; and the film cleared another obstacle this week, as it was announced that Nisha Ganatra—most recently of Late Night and The High Note—would be helming the film. Lohan and Curtis apparently received a preliminary script around the time that last year’s writer strike shut down Hollywood, and judging by the quick movement on the project they liked what they saw.

An interesting point of fact: Lohan is approaching the same age as Curtis was when the 2003 film was released, which may suggest a plot.

Former president Donald Trump has partnered with singer-songwriter Lee Greenwood—of “God Bless the USA” fame—to publish a Bible by the same name. Announced on the Tuesday of Holy Week, the $60 “God Bless the USA” Bible is a large-print King James Version Bible, along with copies of the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence, the Pledge of Allegiance, and the handwritten lyrics to the chorus of Lee Greenwood’s song, all in a leatherbound volume with an American flag on the cover.

A lot of people have dunked on Trump’s choice to release this product during Holy Week, noting that he has “never prayed in his life” or that “if it also contained his wedding vows it would be a collection of the most important documents Trump has violated in one convenient volume.” But some of the most helpful takes came from Amanda Marcotte at Salon, who noted that “In Trump’s hands, the Bible is not a text for prayer and reflection, it’s just a weapon. It’s much easier to beat people down with a book if it’s closed.”

The Bible is not a tool for gaining power, though many have tried to use it for that purpose throughout history. In fact, if you want to use it as a weapon against others, you have to leave it closed; opening it and reading it would reveal that the Christ at the center of Christianity gave up power in service to those who don’t deserve it.

Author and Holy Post podcast cohost Kaitlyn Schiess tweeted, “Some questions about the Bible and politics are really complicated and difficult. Whether or not you should publish a Bible with a copy of the Constitution, Pledge of Allegiance, and Declaration of Independence in it is not one of them.” For more on why, I highly recommend this article by Shane Claiborne, Doug Pagitt, Lisa Sharon Harper, Jemar Tisby and Soong-Chan Rah.

Horror director and outspoken Hollywood Christian Scott Derrickson has been attached to a remake of The Night of the Hunter, about a murderous con man taking the guise of a preacher to capture two orphans for the sake of their family’s money.

Derrickson is probably most famous for his direction of The Exorcism of Emily Rose with Laura Linney, 2008’s polarizing Keanu Reeves film The Day the Earth Stood Still (also a remake), the Eric Bana film Deliver Us from Evil, and his contribution to the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Doctor Strange.

In our 2018 review of the original Night of the Hunter, we noted its dire, dreamlike quality and the striking lighting and sound design, all of which lend themselves quite readily to Derrickson and his propensity to use visually-arresting images and heavy spiritual themes to create a suspenseful atmosphere with no way out.

The Star Trek franchise is pushing sixty, but it’s not done yet. Variety spent some time talking with production staff and actors about the past, present, and future of the Trek universe, including the future of Strange New Worlds Season 3 and the upcoming Section 31 film starring Michelle Yeoh. The article includes some exclusive set photos of both projects, as well as a casting detail about Section 31—a legacy character that hadn’t been previously announced.

In the wake of Dune 2‘s blockbuster release, Polygon ran down ten adaptations of famously “unfilmable” stories, as well as their production and reception. Dune and its sequel are on the list, alongside Netflix’s sudden hit adaptation of 3-Body Problem, as well as classics like Catch-22 and Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

If they say so.

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Happy Easter!

ICYMI is a Redeeming Culture/Reel World Theology experiment. If you value or enjoy this, have tips for future stories, or suggestions for how we could improve, please let us know in the comments below!


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