Award-winning actor Joaquin Phoenix is reportedly being eyed to play the role of Jesus Christ in Garth Davis' movie "Mary Magdalene," which will star Rooney Mara as the title character.
The film will be handled by "The King's Speech" producers Iain Canning and Emile Sherman of See-Saw Films, along with Universal Studios and Weinstein Co. Mara was immediately offered the title role, and Phoenix followed after, according to Deadline.
There have been several portrayals of both Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene in the past. Jim Claviezel portrayed Jesus in "The Passion of the Christ," while Henry Ian Cusick played him for the film "The Gospel Of John." Christian Bale also played Him in "Mary, Mother Of Jesus."
As for Mary Magdalene, she was portrayed by Barbara Hershey in "The Last Temptation of Christ," which was highly controversial because it included an imagined scene of Jesus and Mary having an affair and producing an offspring. She was also played by Monica Bellucci alongside Claviezel in "The Passion of the Christ" and Anne Bancroft in the TV production "Jesus of Nazareth."
Mary Magdalene is one of the most mysterious and misunderstood figures of the Bible who has often been depicted as a repentant prostitute. However, none of the four Gospels ever support that description of her.
She was a central figure in Dan Brown's controversial book "The Da Vinci Code," which suggests that Mary Magdalene was married to Jesus Christ and they had a child whose descendants live among people today.
Davis will direct the upcoming "Mary Magdalene" film with a script written by Helen Edmundson and Philippa Goslett. They will reportedly begin filming this summer in preparation for a 2017 release.