Joaquin Phoenix is one of the most dynamic, versatile actors working in Hollywood today, and now he might play the role of Jesus in an upcoming film about the life of Mary Magdalene, one of Jesus’ most devout followers who reportedly witnessed his crucifixion and resurrection. Deadline reports that Phoenix is being eyed for the iconic role opposite Rooney Mara’s Magdalene. He would be following in the footsteps of actors like Jim Caviezel and Willem Dafoe who have played the central Christian figure in “The Passion of the Christ” and “The Last Temptation of Christ” respectively.
Though Phoenix has been working since the mid-80s, he broke through into the mainstream with his performance as Commodus in Ridley Scott’s 2000 film “Gladiator.” He has also had successful, critically acclaimed turns as country music legend Johnny Cash in “Walk The Line,” heartsick pimp Bruno Weiss in James Gray’s “The Immigrant,” and two great performances in Paul Thomas Anderson film: the volatile, drunken wanderer Freddie Quell in “The Master” and stoner detective Doc Sportello in “Inherent Vice.”
If Phoenix takes the role in “Mary Magdalene,” this will be his second film with Rooney Mara after Spike Jonze’s “Her.” Though Garth Davis (“Top of the Lake”) has been set to direct the film, production hasn’t started and thus no release date has been set.