Larson became intrigued with the Star after reading astronomer Craig Chester's article, based in part on the work of Ernest Martin about the Bethlehem Star being a possible actual event. Chester, a co-founder of the Monterey Institute for Research in Astronomy, thought the planetary conjunctions of 2 BC were a more plausible explanation for what the Magi would have seen than events found in earlier dates. Larson thinks astronomical events in 3-2 BC fit the evidence found in the Bible. He also believes King Herod the Great died in 1 BC, although others, including astronomer David Hughes, and astronomer Mike Molnar, believe Herod died in 4 BC.
Larson examined the biblical account in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 2 and located nine qualities of Bethlehem's Star:] It signified birth, it signified kingship, it was related to the Jewish nation, and it rose "in the East"; furthermore, King Herod had not been aware of it; it appeared at an exact time; it endured over time; and, according to Matthew, it was in front of the Magi as they traveled south from Jerusalem to Bethlehem, and then it stopped over Bethlehem.
Larson wrote the screenplay and was co-executive producer with Stephen McEveety, whose films include The Passion of the Christ and Braveheart.