An evangelistic tool that has been winning people to Jesus Christ all around the world since 1979 is moving into a new era.
It's known simply as the Jesus Film and it's believed to be the most-watched movie on the planet. The film's producers say God has used it to call millions to himself, and now the Jesus Film Project has announced the continuation of that legacy.
On Thursday night at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., the project's producers unveiled their new vision for the film simply titled JESUS.
The new animated film will serve as a spectacular remake of the iconic 1979 JESUS film, which holds a Guinness World Record as the most translated film of all time.
The ground-breaking animated film is set to hit theaters worldwide in December 2025. It aims to bring the story of Jesus to life, as depicted in the New Testament's Book of Luke, using cutting-edge film technology.
The goal is to reach a new and younger generation with the good news of Jesus Christ.
Using unparalleled visual effects and computer graphics, the film benefits from the expertise and talent of a stellar production team, whose credits include Pixar, Disney, and Star Wars.
An example of the concept art for the new JESUS animated film to be released Christmas 2025. (Image credit: Jesus Film Project)
Dominic Carola, the director of JESUS (2025) has worked on notable animated films such as Mulan, The Lion King, and Lilo & Stitch.
"I feel honored to serve with this truly dream team of feature animation veterans and impressive studio industry artisans. We are working towards presenting the true story of Jesus beautifully animated and making His story more accessible to the world," Carola said in a press release.
Original JESUS Film Translated into 2,100th Language
In 1956, a young American Christian missionary, Jim Elliot, was martyred by the Waorani tribe's warriors along with four missionary partners and friends, while sharing the gospel in Ecuador. Today, the Jesus Film Project Initiative's animated story of Jesus coincides with the ground-breaking development of the 2,100th translation of the original live-action - JESUS film - released in 1979, into the Waorani tribe's language from Ecuador.
"Following a request for the film in the language, it will be delivered by a partnership comprised of the Jesus Film Project, indigenous Waorani translators, and voice actors from communities across the Waorani people. Just like the original, we hope this animated experiential film will ultimately touch lives in over 2,000 languages, spreading the hope of Jesus to people around the globe," Josh Newell, executive director of Jesus Film Project said.
Jen Huff, the daughter of Paul Eshelman, the director of the original JESUS Film, is excited about the new animated project.
"Through the 1979 JESUS film, tens of millions of people came to know Jesus. It's a blessing to see the continuation of that legacy in JESUS (2025) and to know that tens of millions more people will get to know the hope of the gospel. This film will authentically portray the greatest story of all time to the world, in people's heart languages and across traditional and digital mediums – it's so exciting," she said.
It's believed more than 11 billion people have seen the Jesus film over 4+ decades, and 665 million people have made decisions to follow Christ.