Following in the footsteps of Willem Dafoe (“The Last Temptation of Christ”) and Jim Caviezel (“The Passion of the Christ”), Joaquin Phoenix will be the next actor to bring Jesus Christ to movie theaters across the U.S. thanks to the upcoming release of “Mary Magdalene.” The Biblical epic casts Phoenix opposite Rooney Mara in the title role. Both actors previously starred opposite one another in Spike Jonze’s “Her” and Gus Van Sant’s “Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot.”
“Mary Magdalene” is the latest directorial feature from Garth Davis and his first since “Lion,” which earned him the Directors Guild of America award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement of a First-Time Feature Film Director. Davis has reunited with cinematographer Greig Fraser on the film, which also stars Chiwetel Ejiofor as Peter. Fraser earned an Oscar nomination for his work on “Lion.”
While “Mary Magdalene” debuted in theaters internationally last year, the film has taken quite a bit of time to reach U.S. screens because of The Weinstein Company’s demise in the wake of Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual harassment and abuse. “Magdalene” was a TWC title and was originally set for release in March 2018. Only recently did IFC Films announce it had saved the title and would be opening it in theaters just in time for the Easter holiday.
Per IFC’s official synopsis for the movie: “‘Mary Magdalene’ tells the moving story of one of the most misunderstood women in history, alternately vilified as a sinner and canonized as a saint. In the First Century A.D., the free-spirited Mary (Mara) flees the marriage her family has arranged for her, finding a sense of purpose in a radical new movement led by the charismatic, defiant preacher Jesus of Nazareth (Phoenix). The sole woman among his band of disciples, Mary defies the prejudices of her patriarchal society. She undergoes a profound spiritual awakening, drawing her into conflict with Jesus’s apostles Peter (Ejiofor) and Judas (Tahar Rahim), and finds herself at the center of an earth-shaking historical moment.”
IFC Films will release “Mary Magdalene U.S. theaters April 12. Watch the official trailer below.