EXCLUSIVE: As Darren Aronofsky’s Noah gets ready to set sail and iconic directors Ridley Scott and Steven Spielberg forge ahead with epics about Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt, faithful Biblical epics are flourishing in Hollywood. It looks like there is even room for one that takes the most controversial look at the life of Jesus Christ since Martin Scorsese’s The Last Temptation Of Christ.
I’m told that Muse Productions’ Chris Hanley, whose credits include American Psycho, has stepped up to finance development of a film about Christ. It will be based on Jesus Of Nazareth, a book that director Paul Verhoeven co-wrote after immersing himself in the history and researching the subject for nearly two decades. Verhoeven plans to direct the film, which will be written by Roger Avary. Avary shared the Academy Award for Best Original Script with Quentin Tarantino for Pulp Fiction.
Verhoeven’s take on the life of Jesus Christ discounts all the miracles that inform the New Testament. That includes the virgin birth and the resurrection. Verhoeven doesn’t believe any of them happened. I wrote about Verhoeven’s ambitions in spring 2011, as he and his reps at ICM first tried to find funding — no small feat given some of the theories he put forth in the book.The most controversial: that Jesus might have been the product of his mother being raped by a Roman soldier, which Verhoeven said was commonplace at the time, and that Jesus was a radical prophet who performed exorcisms and was convinced he would find the kingdom of Heaven on earth, and did not know he would be sentenced to die on the cross by Pontius Pilate. That, and the discounting of the miracles that pepper the New Testament, has made this a daunting project to set up. READ MORE »
Thousands of TV executives from around the world are en route to Cannes for the annual MIPCOM market, which starts on Monday. The great majority of them, who are flying into the nearby Nice airport, were greeted by a group of Pan Am stewardesses — a promotion for the new … Read More »
ABC Studios will be jetting in Ashley Judd for the premiere screening of its thriller show Missing at next month’s MIPCOM TV market. This year’s event runs Oct. 3-6. Creator/exec producer Gregory Poirier, who wrote National Treasure: Book of Secrets, will also be on hand to unveil the show in Cannes. Co-stars Cliff Curtis and Adriano Giannini will be at the Palais des Festivals too. Meanwhile, Paul Verhoeven, cult director of Starship Troopers and Total Recall, will be in town to promote FCCE’s The Entertainment Experience — “the world’s first multi-platform format based on a user-generated movie” (whatever the heck that means). Eddie Izzard will be flying in to promote his turn as Long John Silver in RHI Entertainment’s Treasure Island, due to premiere on Syfy in the U.S. and Sky in the UK. And Stevie Van Zandt — who so memorably played mob consigliere Silvio Dante in The Sopranos — will promote Norwegian TV show Lilyhammer, being sold by Germany’s SevenOne International. This time Van Zandt plays a Mafioso who testified against his former Mafia boss in New York and winds up being relocated to the Norwegian countryside as part of the Witness Protection Program.
MIPCOM previously announced that Anne Sweeney, Disney/ABC Television Group president and Disney Media Networks co-chair, will be this year’s MIPCOM Personality of the Year. Here’s the official release: Read More »
UPDATE: Insiders are telling me I jumped the gun on this, but I’m sticking with my story about Kate Beckinsale being asked to join the film. I am persuaded that she will be starring alongside Jessica Biel when … Read More »
Sony Pictures is casting up its Total Recall remake, which Len Wiseman will direct with Colin Farrell starring in the role originated by Arnold Schwarzenegger. There are two major female roles in the film, and several top actresses are vying … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: MGM is negotiating with Brazilian director Jose Padilha to direct Robocop, the remake of the futuristic 1987 film originally helmed by Paul Verhoeven. The original was about a cop who was near death and was drafted to become a … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: In a deal that puts him back into that saucy Basic Instinct territory, Paul Verhoeven has made a deal to direct Eternal, a supernatural thriller that is Fatal Attraction – with a succubus temptress. The film was developed by Sidney Kimmel Entertainment from a pitch by David Loughery (Obsessed), who wrote the script. Verhoeven comes aboard along with Richard D’Ovidio (Exit Wounds), who’ll do a rewrite. Eternal shapes up as a possible next project for Verhoeven, with production targeted for next summer. In Eternal, a married recovering alcoholic helps a woman threatening to jump off the Golden Gate Bridge. They end up in bed, and in a torrid sexual affair. When he gets home, he’s confronted Read More »