Visual Bible International to delay “Gospel of Mark”

( [email protected] ) May 12, 2004 07:02 PM EDT

Visual Bible International temporarily halted plans to produce a sequel to “The Gospel of John” because of financial difficulties. Nonetheless, the Toronto-based company said it would “continue making more films based on biblical scriptures,” as planned.

Garth Drabinsky, producer of the three-hour, word for word film of the fourth Gospel of the New Testament, mentioned last month that he planned to oversee the making of The Gospel of Mark this summer. However, on May 11, a spokesperson for VBI said that the decision has not yet been made.

“It "may or may not be The Gospel of Mark,"” the spokesperson said.

Sales record for VBI had been lower than anticipated; the three-disc DVD and VHS sets that went into retail outlets across North America on April 6, had not improved over the weeks.

In a filing made April 23 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, VBI said that unless sales of its John DVD/video set improve considerably -- as of last month, it had "generated in excess of $5-million in sales"-- and additional capital is raised, it "will certainly be in default [on its debts] and may be forced to cease its operations."

VBI said it will continue to devote itself to word-for-word films of all 66 books of the Bible by 2015.