Fresh off wooing Cate Blanchett in Todd Haynes’ critically-acclaimed Oscar hopeful Carol, Rooney Mara has emerged as an early frontrunner to land the title role in Universal’s Mary Magdalene biopic, Deadline has learned.
Partnering with See-Saw Films, the studio has already instated Garth Davis in the director’s chair, and it looks as though Mara is on the verge of coming aboard. Negotiations are currently underway, so it’s worth keeping in mind that the casting is yet to be finalized, but that hasn’t quelled Davis’ excitement about the potential of Mara portraying “one of history’s most misunderstood woman.”
“Rooney’s raw, brave approach to performances, coupled with her deeply magnetic inner life, holds all the dimensions needed to bring to life one of history’s most misunderstood woman — Mary Magdalene,” said Davis. “Having worked with Rooney on Lion, I know she is a once in a lifetime talent.”
With a summer shoot between the proverbial crosshairs, Universal is keen to set its Mary Magdalene biopic in motion sooner rather than later. Described as “an incredibly powerful new perspective” on the titular religious figure, Davis will be working from a script pitched by Helen Edmundson and Philippa Goslett.
In terms of Mary Magdalene herself, last time the controversial biblical character was portrayed on the silver screen, it was Spectre star Monica Bellucci for The Passion of the Christ. Before Mel Gibson’s religious opus, though, the role had been filled by Barbara Hershey. But will Rooney Mara be the next actress to pick up the torch as Mary of Magdala?