The tale of Jesus and his disciples has always been fascinating for Hollywood. In movies Jesus has been the star of major hits and cult classics alike. Whether he was the star of the box office sensation “The Passion of the Christ” or singing melodies in “Jesus Christ Superstar” as a film character, the messiah has always been popular. Rather than retread on the tale of Jesus, director Garth Davis has chosen to tell the tale from the perspective of follower Mary Magdalene. With production underway, another one of the Apostles has been cast.
According to Deadline, British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor is in talks to play the first pope, Peter the Apostle. The move is certainly a strong one, with Ejiofor representing the addition of another Oscar nominee to the growing cast. The move will also certainly spark controversy at some point, because the man known as the right hand of Jesus has almost exclusively been played by white actors. However, the casting is positive for a number of reasons. Perhaps most important is that an actor of color is being cast in a role almost always reserved for white actors. Ejiofor is one of the most talented actors in the world, and the casting choice is undeniably a strong one for the film.
“Mary Magdalene” is currently set to release in 2017, with the Weinstein Company set to release. Previously, Oscar nominated actress Rooney Mara was announced to portray Magdalene. Davis also tapped Oscar nominee Joaquin Phoenix to play the son of God. Davis will make his feature film debut this fall with the Weinstein distributed feature “Lion,” starring Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, and Nicole Kidman.