An Italian film showing Jesus Christ drinking Coca-Cola sparked such strong protest from the soft-drinks giant that it blocked the film's Easter weekend premiere, the film makers said.
The film "7 km from Jerusalem" is about an Italian advertising executive who is soul searching after losing his job and marriage. He flies to Jerusalem, where he runs into Jesus.
According to local press reports, he offers the returned Christ a can of Coca-Cola and, seeing Jesus drinking the beverage, thinks: "What a testimonial!"
Apparently Coca-Cola disagreed.
"The multinational's Italian unit sent a legal letter forcing the elimination of the scene in which Jesus drinks the well-known beverage," the producers said on the film's Web site, http://blog.7kmdagerusalemme.it/dblog/.
Italian media reported that the company felt that the use of its brand was unacceptable and could get the company a bad image.
The director, Claudio Malaponti, said that if further talks were unsuccessful, the scene would indeed be cut.
"This recasting requires about 20 days and the hope is to be able to have in cinemas by the end of April," Malaponti was quoted as saying on the Web site.
A preview of the film can be seen on the movie's website: http://www.7kmdagerusalemme.it/media/trailer.htm
It was not the first time that a controversial film about Jesus was meant to open just before the Easter holiday.
Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ", which depicted Christ's scourging and crucifixion in blood-dripping detail, opened across Europe just before Easter 2004.
Catholics in Italy largely applauded the film, whose scenes of Christ's final hours were filmed in the ancient Italian stone city of Matera.
Jewish leaders across Europe expressed concern that the film's unflattering depiction of Biblical-era Jews could boost anti-Semitism.