Oscar nominated actor Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave) is currently in talks to star alongside Rooney Mara (Carol) and Joaquin Phoenix (Her) in The Weinstein Company’s Biblical adaptation Mary Magdalene, according to Deadline. Mara is set to play the titular follower of Jesus Christ, to be portrayed by Phoenix. Ejiofor is in talks for the role of Peter, one of Christ’s twelve apostles and his foremost disciple.
Known to the Catholic Church as the first Pope, he was a witness to the first Transfiguration of Jesus’ body and blood. Peter’s most famous prophesied act in the Bible was in denying Jesus three times and subsequently weeping bitterly at the realization of what he had done. At his own crucifixion, Peter requested to be hung upside down, believing himself to be unworthy to be crucified upright as Jesus was.
Mary Magdalene will look to tell the personal story of one of the Bible’s most mysterious and misunderstood figures. It has been speculated throughout history that Mary Magdalene was a prostitute, but that theory has also largely been contested. In a humanistic approach to the story, this film will likely focus on her inner life that lead to her helping Jesus carry the cross to his crucifixion.
The producers behind The King’s Speech at See-Saw Films are financing Mary Magdalene. With the addition of Ejiofor to Mara and Phoenix, all known for deep, gritty, and sometimes method acting, the film looks to be shaping into an honest product with and independent feel.
Garth Davis is directing the project (Lion, 2016) which will be expected sometime next year. Ejiofor will next be seen in Triple Nine and Doctor Strange.