Paul Verhoeven is make a secular movie about Jesus, which obviously won’t be controversial at all. Jesus of Nazareth, based on a book that Verhoeven co-wrote, will look at Jesus as a historical figure rather than the son of God. That means no miracles, no resurrection, no immaculate conception. Part man. Part machine. All messiah. (Kudos to Flixist’s resident RoboCopologist Maxwell Roahrig, PhD, OcP, for the header.)
Roger Avary (Pulp Fiction, The Rules of Attraction) is writing the screenplay. Deadline keys into a particularly controversial aspect of the film’s take on Jesus:
…Jesus might have been the product of his mother being raped by a Roman soldier, which Verhoeven said was commonplace at the time, and that Jesus was a radical prophet who performed exorcisms and was convinced he would find the kingdom of Heaven on earth, and did not know he would be sentenced to die on the cross by Pontius Pilate.
In other words, kind of like The Life of Brian, but serious and without aliens. Verhoeven points out his own interest in Jesus is in the man’s radical ethics; the director also feels that people take the idea of Christ’s sacrifice for granted and just use it as an excuse to be jerks to one another. My only two requests: 1) the score needs to sound like something by the late Basil Poledouris and 2) Jesus should say “Bitches leave” when he cleanses the Temple of money changers.[Via Deadlne]