Casting is once again beginning to heat up on the set of Garth Davis’ Mary Magdalene biopic, with Deadline reporting today that Chiwetel Ejiofor, star of 12 Years a Slave and The Martian, has opened talks to nab the role of Peter the Apostle.
A fisherman and key member of Jesus’ band of disciples, Peter famously denied Christ three times during his arrest and subsequent crucifixion. Soon thereafter, it’s believed that Peter was himself crucified at the hands of Emperor Nero Augustus Caesar, requesting for his cross to be turned upside down because he no longer considered himself worthy to be associated with Jesus Christ.
Though negotiations are still ongoing, it has all the makings of a meaty role for Ejiofor, who has turned in one intense, scene-stealing role after another in recent years.
As things stands, Mary Magdalene currently boasts a cast that comprises Rooney Mara (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Social Network) as the titular Christian figure, along with Joaquin Phoenix as Jesus himself. In adapting the infamous story of Magdalene for the silver screen, it’s understood Davis is gunning for an “authentic and humanistic portrait of one of the most enigmatic and misunderstood spiritual figures in history,” essentially shunning claims that Mary of Magdala lay with Jesus. Helen Edmundson and Philippa Goslett are the brains behind the script.
Beyond Mary Magdalene, Chiwetel Ejiofor has also lined up Marvel’s Doctor Strange, where he will play the role of Baron Karl Mordo opposite Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sorcerer Supreme. It opens on November 4.