There's a nice sneak peek over at Christianity Today about the upcoming movie O Little Town. This sounds fairly promising:
"The nativity is usually presented as an event-board story—this happened, then this happened, then this happened," [Mike Rich] says. "It's rarely presented as a character story. That's how I wanted to do it."
I've read Rich's script, and it's faithful and reverent to the Gospel accounts, but also brings Joseph and Mary's characters alive in a very human way. They wrestle with fears and doubts and anxieties, all within the framework of unshakeable faith.
We meet their parents and families, even before they're betrothed to one another. We're there for the awkward moment when Mary's father tells his daughter that she will be Joseph's wife. We're there for Gabriel's visit, for Joseph's dream, for the journey to Bethlehem—and the gamut of emotions that each experiences, every step of the way.
We get to know Elizabeth and Zechariah. We hit the road with the three wise men—Balthasar, Gaspar, and Melchior. We meet shepherds, tending their flocks by night. We go into Herod's palace and see what a despicable, paranoid man he really is.
Things sound pretty good. One wishes they could have broken out of the traditional mold and varied the number of Wise Men, but I guess it must be three.
Now this is what we want following the success of The Passion.