The Scottish thesp will soon be seen in Sundance epic “Last Days in the Desert,” a chronicle of Jesus’ 40 days of fasting starring McGregor as both Christ and the Devil. “Last Days” is directed by Rodrigo Garcia, helmer of the handsomely made “Albert Nobbs” and earlier, more intimate passion projects “Nine Lives” and “Mother and Child,” which tangled the lives of women in interconnected vignettes. One of the most hotly anticipated Sundance 2015 titles, “Last Days” was shot in five weeks by Emmanuel Lubezki, who reunites here with “The Tree of Life”‘s Tye Sheridan, costarring alongside McGregor and Ciaran Hinds.
In the above image, Ewan McGregor channels the ragged and starving Jesus, but it’s hard not to think of Obi-Wan Kenobi, the cloaked Jedi Master of “The Phantom Menace.” Whether Scorsese’s “The Last Temptation of Christ” with Willem Dafoe or Gibson’s “Passion of the Christ” with Jim Caviezel, anytime you touch this story, you are bound to court controversy—especially when you’re a Scot playing a Middle Eastern-Jew. (Critics recently took aim at Ridley Scott, whose “Exodus” features an all-white ensemble, with Christian Bale headlining as the Egyptian Moses.)
McGregor will later be seen as disgraced American everyman Swede Levov in Phillip Noyce’s forthcoming Philip Roth adaptation “American Pastoral,” and in the thwarted western “Jane Got a Gun,” which shakes out in Fall 2015.
Below, watch two new clips from his latest starrer “Son of a Gun,” harsh crime drama and first feature written and directed by Julius Avery. Now on DirecTV and opening January 16 via A24, the film follows rookie criminal JR (Brenton Thwaites), who meets the smart and enigmatic Brendan Lynch (a gruff-looking McGregor), an inmate looking to escape the big house.