Anyone who saw Joaquin Phoenix in I’m Still Here might suspect he’s possessed of a pretty significant god complex. Rooney Mara, meanwhile, lives in such a state of grace that she never ate pie until the age of 31, doing so at the behest of David Lowery in the embarrassing A Ghost Story. Now the pair are united to play biblical power couple Jesus of Nazareth and Mary Magdalene, respectively, in the new film from Lion director Garth Davis.
According to the presser, “Mary Magdalene is an authentic and humanistic portrait of one of the most enigmatic and misunderstood spiritual figures in history.
“Set in the Holy Land in the first century, the film is the story of a young woman who leaves her small fishing village and family behind to join a new movement.
“Inspired by its charismatic leader, Jesus of Nazareth, and his teachings, Mary sets out with the disciples on the journey to Jerusalem, where she finds herself at the heart of the founding story of Christianity.”
Chiwetel Ejiofor is in there as well as Peter the Apostle, while Aussie actor Ryan Corr plays Joseph (whether that’s “de facto father of Christ” or “…of Arimathea” has yet to be revealed, but it’s probably the latter).
Given its gendered slant, Mary Magdalene probably draws more on the apocrypha and other theories about the early Christian Church which aren’t canonical, which is good – there’s some wild stuff in there that made the first few centuries of Christianity a hotbed of debate before those spoilsports at the Council of Nicaea started nailing things down. If this film is half as good as Lion, we’re in for a treat.
Mary Magdalene hits Australian cinemas on March 22, 2018.