Just call it a mission from God.
In a new book which interviews celebrities about their religious and spiritual beliefs, Anne Rice, the bestselling vampire writer and born-again Christian said she believes she's been called to make a television series about Jesus' life -- and in her head, she's already cast it.
"I haven't told Johnny Depp yet, but wouldn't he be perfect?" Rice said about the series, which she described as HBO's "Deadwood" (her favorite show) set in Nazareth. But how would the profane Western translate into a Biblical storyline?
"It would be everything that's going on in Jesus' village -- all the arguments, disputes, whatever --and we'd take maybe five years to get to Jerusalem," Rice said. She said she's been begging her agent to set her up with television writers and HBO, because "if I don't do it, somebody else will, because I can't want to do something this badly... without somebody else thinking of it."
Rice was born Roman Catholic, but her last book, "Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt," represented a major departure from her other works, many of which chronicle the lives and dastardly deeds of a pack of self-reincarnating vampires. Her book "Interview with a Vampire" became a blockbuster hit in 1994 starring Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise and Kirsten Dunst.
The book, "The God Factor" by Chicago Sun-Times reporter Cathleen Falsani, features interviews with some 32 celebrities including Billy Corgan, Bono, U.S. Senator Barack Obama and Hakeem Olajuwon.
"Mmmm. . . , Strong. Beautiful. Edgy. Soulful eyes," Falsani writes about Depp. "A graceful person but not effeminate. Roguish yet strangely wise. Yes, Depp as Jesus -- I can see it."
Johnny Depp on a weekly basis? Hell yes!