In a move seen by many as an attempt to breathe life into a tired franchise, the Vatican today announced a reboot of the “Greatest Story Ever Told” with the introduction of new characters into the New Testament storyline. The new New Testament will include a retelling of some familiar stories to bring a new perspective to the popular, long-running myth.
“We are keen to make religion relevant to as many people as possible,” said Pope Benedict during a specially convened press conference mass, yesterday. “We want to explore the early years of one of the lead characters. Pontius P, is a hip teen who has attitude, the latest sandals and hair that is just so like totally ill.”
New characters are being introduced into the long running saga to boost the appeal of Christianity with the key 15 to 25 demographic. It is this group that is believed to have the most disposable credulity.
“Pontius P meets a teenage apprentice carpenter Jesus who repairs and like totally pimps out his plain wooden skateboard which has been damaged in a thrilling escape from a Roman Centurion who caught Pontius scrumping for coins at the money changers' tables,” said the Pope. “Pontius uses his like well streetwise cred to totally help a shy, young Jesus blossom and practice his miracles and stuff. With hilarious consequences.”
The Vatican said that the traditional story of Christ may be off-putting to the modern teenager and Pontius P provides a means of challenging the issues that today's young people face.
“Through the retelling of their teens we can experience the touching adventures of youth for the messiah, with heart-warming lessons for us all,” announced the Vatican trailer available on YouTube. “After a misunderstanding of an overheard conversation caused a young Thomas to doubt his friendship with Jesus, Pontius P tricks them into settling their differences during the leper healing contest. With hilarious consequences.”
The Vatican would not be drawn on rumours that the New Testament reboot will include cross-over cameos involving popular characters from other religious texts.
“There may be exciting visits from some familiar Old Testament characters,” said a Vatican spokesman. “But you'll just have to keep following and who knows if a time-travelling Muhammad will join the boys as they embark on a 40 day road trip across the desert. With hilarious consequences.”
In other departures from Canon, the rebooted New Testament will include a new group of female characters following new studies into the recently translated “Gospel of Mary Magdalene”.
“During the Young Apostle Crew's visit to the Sea of Galilee to spend the day at the beach Pontius P attempts to impress Mary by jumping a shark,” said a voiceover for another trailer. “After the trick goes wrong, Jesus runs across the sea to save him. With hilarious consequences.”
The saga's ending will be also be retold with Jesus and Pontius P growing apart and falling in with different groups, reflecting modern society's issues with gang culture. In emotional scenes of reunion, Pontius P is torn between his childhood friend Jesus and his loyalty to the members of his adopted gang, the Roman Empire.
“I think it's key to the growth of Christianity that we target the audience when they are most likely to believe our stories,” said a Vatican spokesman. “This approach enables us to get directly in touch with the kids - in the hope that Priests don't get a chance to.”
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