Universal has ordered a live-action Mary Magdalene movie for a release in 2017 in partnership with See-Saw Films. Currently without an official title, the religious drama will be helmed by Garth Davis working from a script penned by Helen Edmundson and Philippa Goslett.
Often referred to as Mary of Magdala or simply The Magdalene across the four Christian gospels, Mary Magdalene has been portrayed by Barbara Hershey and, more recently, by Spectre star Monica Bellucci in Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ. However, news of Universal and See-Saw’s biblical drama taking shape is the first sign that the celebrated and somewhat controversial figure will headline her own film.
No word yet on which actress will take on the title role, but we do know that Iain Canning and Emile Sherman are on board to produce, while Universal brass Robert Walak and Peter Kujawski offered a statement to Deadline in light of the announcement.
“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. 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.”
Pitching Davis’ take on the famed character as “an incredibly powerful new perspective” is certainly early praise, considering that Magdalene has remained a fixture of popular culture over the last decade via Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code series. How exactly the director plans to approach the biblical figure, one who was once denounced as an alleged prostitute, will ultimately be told in time.
Universal and See-Saw Films will shepherd Mary Magdalene to the silver screen at some point in early 2017. Deadline reports that Davis is currently eyeing a summer shoot.