Son of God producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey came under fire last year because Mohamen Mehdi Ouazanni, who stars as Satan in the film, bears a striking resemblance to President Barack Obama.
The producers said at the time that the casting controversy was unintentional and merely coincidental.
Son of God is a reshaped version of last year’s hit History Channel miniseries The Bible.
“Someone made a comment that the actor who played the devil vaguely resembled our president, and suddenly the media went nuts,” Roma Downey said in a statement Monday.
“The next day, when I was sure everyone would only be talking about Jesus, they were talking about Satan instead. For our movie, <<Son of God>>, I wanted all of the focus to be on Jesus. I want his name to be on the lips of everyone who sees this movie, so we cast Satan out. It gives me great pleasure to tell you that the devil is on the cutting room floor.”
20th Century Fox will release Son of God on February 28. The 10-hour miniseries has been pared down to two hours, which meant sacrificing Satan’s scenes to focus on Jesus.