Weinstein Co. in Talks to Acquire Mary Magdalene Biopic
Rooney Mara, who is up for a best supporting actress Oscar for her role in TWC's Carol, is in talks to play the New Testament heroine.
The Weinstein Company is in negotiations to acquire North American rights to a Mary Magdalene biopic from See-Saw Films, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
Rooney Mara, who co-starred in and is up for a best supporting actress Oscar for her role in TWC's Carol, is in talks to play the New Testament heroine.
See-Saw, the U.K.-based production company behind such TWC films as The King's Speech and Macbeth, is producing the Garth Davis-helmed film. See-Saw and TWC also are developing together the TV project Love, Nina.
Universal Pictures International Productions is partnering with See-Saw Films on the biopic, so Focus Features would have had the first look.
Helen Edmundson and Philippa Goslett wrote the screenplay about the acolyte of Jesus Christ, and production is set to kick off in the summer. TWC plans to release the film in 2017.
The Weinstein Co. is no stranger to controversy, and a Mary Magdalene biopic would seem certain to generate a hullabaloo. As a disciple of Jesus and witness to his resurrection, Mary Magdalene is considered one of the most important female figures in Christianity, though she has been often portrayed as a repentant prostitute (that portrayal, however, is not supported by the canonical gospels).
'Mary Magdalene' Sets Easter Weekend Debut; 'The Current War' Moves To Late November
The Weinstein Company has set Easter weekend 2018, March 30-April 1, for the release of Garth Davis’ Mary Magdalene, while the distributor’s Toronto Film Festival world premiere The Current War will now debut November 24 instead of December 22.
Previously, Mary Magdalene was set for November 24. Both titles will receive a limited release.
Rooney Mara, who worked with Davis on the $140M-grossing Lion, stars as the title character in Mary Magdalene, the most legendary and most misunderstood follower of Jesus Christ. In the Gospels of Luke and Mark, it is read that Christ cast seven demons out of her. Joaquin Phoenix will portray Christ. In a press release, TWC states “the new release date highlights the narrative of Mary Magdalene’s relationship with Jesus that is indelibly linked to the events celebrated during the holiday.”
Mary Magdalene follows the New Testament female as she searches for a new way of living. Constricted by the hierarchies of the day, she defies her traditional family to join a new social movement led by the charismatic Jesus of Nazareth. She soon finds a place for herself within the movement and at the heart of a journey that will lead to the capital city of Jerusalem. Pic is written by Helen Edmundson and Philippa Goslett, and also stars Chiwetel Ejiofor and Tahar Rahim. See-Saw Films’ Iain Canning and Emile Sherman, who worked with TWC on Lion and The King’s Speech are producing alongside Animal Kingdom producer Liz Watts.
“Garth, Iain, Emile, and Liz along with the rest of the team are working hard to finish the film and tell Mary Magdalene’s extraordinary story,” TWC co-chairman Harvey Weinstein said. “Having Garth direct back-to-back films for us was always going to be a race against time, especially with the overwhelming success and his enormous dedication to Lion. We will shift The Current War into November, giving it the opportunity to play throughout the holiday and award seasons.”
The Current War stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Thomas Edison and Michael Shannon as George Westinghouse, as they race against each other to bring electricity to the masses during the industrial age. Pic was directed by Alfonso Gomez‐Rejon (Me And Earl And The Dying Girl) and written by playwright Michael Mitnick (Sex Lives Of Our Parents). Backed by J.P. Morgan, Edison dazzles the world by lighting Manhattan. But Westinghouse, aided by Nikola Tesla, has seen fatal flaws in Edison’s direct current design. Igniting a war of currents, Westinghouse and Tesla bet everything on risky and dangerous alternating current.
Tom Holland, Nicholas Hoult, Katherine Waterston, Tuppence Middleton and Matthew Macfadyen also star.