The Movie: Nikos Kazantzakis' novel about a very human Jesus was a favourite of devout Catholic Martin Scorsese, who spent much of the 1980s attempting to get his dream project off the ground.
The Risk: Originally set for production in 1983 with Aidan Quinn as Christ, Paramount changed its mind after receiving protest letters from religious organisations. Given a plot that includes Satan tempting Christ with visions of having sex with Mary Magdalene, it's not difficult to see why many were angry.
Did It Pay Off?: Scorsese weathered a storm that climaxed in several people being seriously burnt after a Paris cinema was firebombed. Nowadays, the film is seen as one of the finest cinematic studies of the life of Christ.