Of all the things you expect to read this isn’t one of them. Deadline has reported that Dutch filmmaker Paul Verhoeven has been attempting to get an adaptation of his co-written book Jesus of Nazareth off the ground. The report says that he and his reps have been trying to raise financing for about a year and a half, this is a project clearly that’s very close to his heart.
Shockingly for Verhoeven, the book was cited as a very controversial work and attempted to look at the character of Jesus differently, he has said:
If you look at the man, it’s clear you have a person who was completely innovative in the field of ethics. My own passion for Jesus came when I started to realize that. It’s not about miracles, it’s about a new set of ethics, an openness towards the world, which was anathema in a Roman-dominated world. I believe he was crucified because they felt that politically, he was a dangerous person whose following was getting bigger and bigger. Jesus’ ideals are about the utopia of human behavior, about how we should treat each other, how we should step into the shoes of our enemy.
So this is perhaps a more realist depiction of Jesus, rejecting the ideas of miracles and of the resurrection. So it will be fascinating to see, I’m an atheist and it would be interesting to see a more political retelling of that story as opposed to a religious one. I still think the exceptional work in that area is Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ but to see Verhoeven directing again and with subject matter this controversial, I’m signed up. His last movie Black Book was a terrific, dramatic departure for Verhoeven and hopefully it will be in that vain.