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Paul Verhoeven to adapt his own book Jesus of Nazareth

06.20.2012

Verhoeven Jesus book coverWell this certainly seems to be a far cry from Verhoeven's past oeuvre. 

To be produced by Chris Hanley of Muse Productions (AMERICAN PSYCHO), JESUS OF NAZARETH will be based on a book co-written by Verhoeven "after immersing himself in the history and researching the subject for nearly two decades."  The adaptation is set to be scripted by Roger Avary (PULP FICTION, BEOWULF), and will take a look at the life of Jesus without any miracles or divinity involved.  So, for example, there is no Immaculate Conception - Jesus' mother may have been raped by a Roman soldier, something which Verhoeven points out Roman soldiers were wont to do at the time.  The book even take things a step further by claiming 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."

Pretty controversial stuff, and not in the three-breasted sort of way.  A start date is still far from being set, but with financing already in place all we have to do now is wait for the script. Which is a encouraging, because I want to see this.

“If you look at the man, it’s clear you have a person who was completely innovative in the field of ethics,” Verhoeven said. “My own passion for Jesus came when I started to realize that. It’s not about miracles, it’s about a new set of ethics, an openness towards the world, which was anathema in a Roman-dominated world. I believe he was crucified because they felt that politically, he was a dangerous person whose following was getting bigger and bigger. Jesus’ ideals are about the utopia of human behavior, about how we should treat each other, how we should step into the shoes of our enemy.”

Paul Verhoeven directing ROBOCOP

Verhoeven intensely directing ROBOCOP.

Extra Tidbit: Jim Caviezel was a pretty genius Jesus, and Willem Dafoe brings his own brand of genius to everything he does. Anyone have a slightly out of the box suggestion for who could follow them up?
Source: Deadline

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