A new biopic is being made about Mary Magdalene

Mary Magdalene as depicted by Leonardo Da Vinci

A biopic of Mary Magdalene, a follower of Jesus and witness to his crucifixion and resurrection, has been scheduled for release in 2017.

The biblical character was first depicted on film in 1912 in an American film called From the Manger to the Cross, filmed on location in Palestine, and has been portrayed in multiple films since. However, this new biopic is the first to focus on the life of Mary herself.

The as-yet untitled film hopes to explore more fully the mysterious character of the woman who first witnessed Jesus' resurrection.

"Mary Magdalene is a strong character, who was so unique in her time, and her story will give audiences a chance to experience the cultural turbulence, human passions, and devotional beliefs that set in motion so much of modern history," Peter Kujawski and Robert Walak of Universal Pictures International Productions told Deadline.

It will be produced by Iain Canning and Emile Sherman, the pair behind The King's Speech, and directed by Garth Davis.

"We are thrilled to partner with Iain and Emile at See-Saw on this project, who have a track record for developing compelling material with a focus on quality. We're certain that Garth's artistic vision will deliver an incredibly powerful new perspective on one of the world's most well-known origin stories," Kujawski and Walak added.

Mary Magdalene is one of the most intriguing and talked about biblical characters. During the Middle Ages, she took on the identity of a repentant prostitute, despite there being no suggestion of this in the Gospels. She has also been rumoured to be Jesus' wife, another reputation unsupported in the canon. However, she was a close follower of Jesus – mentioned at least 12 times in the Gospels, more than most apostles – and is considered, by many, as one of the heroines of the faith.