Hugh Jackman to play St Paul in new film

Jackman is not a Christian, but his father became a born-again Christian after hearing Billy Graham.Reuters

Jackman will play St Paul in a forthcoming film about the apostle's life, Deadline has revealed.

It is thought that the film, Apostle Paul, will look at Paul's Damascus road conversion, his ministry to the gentiles and his imprisonment.

Jackman, best known for playing Wolverine, will also produce the film, together with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck under their Pearl Street Films production company. The screenplay is currently being written by Matt Cook.

This is the latest in a string of biblical epics, including Noah and Exodus, alongside the success of recent Christian films such as God's Not Dead and Heaven is for Real.

Biblical retellings have also been popular on the small screen this year including National Geographic's Killing Jesus, and the BBC's The Ark also in the last few weeks, and AD: The Bible Continues premiering on NBC on Easter Sunday.

Jackman is not a Christian and has practised meditation since attending the School of Practical Philosophy in his 20s. His father, however, became a born-again Christian after hearing American evangelist Billy Graham and took Jackman to hear Graham speak a number of times.

Speaking to Parade magazine in 2009, he said his father "takes his religion very seriously and would prefer I go to church."

Jackman added: "I just find the evangelical church too, well, restrictive. But the School of Practical Philosophy is nonconfrontational. We believe there are many forms of Scripture. What is true is true and will never change, whether it's in the Bible or in Shakespeare. It's about oneness. Its basic philosophy is that if the Buddha and Krishna and Jesus were all at a dinner table together, they wouldn't be arguing. There is an essential truth. And we are limitless."

Affleck and Damon drew widespread criticism from faith groups for their 1999 film Dogma about two fallen angels, and are not known to be particularly religious.