The Bible is edging closer and closer to its Twilight moment in Hollywood. Paul Verhoeven (CliffsNotes filmography: RoboCop, Showgirls, Total Recall, Basic Instinct) is jumping into the Biblical film fray along with Darren Aronofsky’s Noah and the dueling Moses movies. Verhoeven’s bid comes in the form of Jesus of Nazareth, based on a book by Verhoeven which, as Deadline puts it, “discounts all of the miracles that inform the New Testament,” immaculate conception not excepted. Deadline insists Verhoeven’s film won’t be the stuff of shock value but more of a definitively different look at Christ.
“If you look at the man, it’s clear you have a person who was completely innovative in the field of ethics,” Verhoeven told Deadline in 2011. “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 … 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.”
Joining Verhoeven’s crew for Nazareth will be Quentin Tarantino co-conspirator Roger Avary and American Psycho and The Virgin Suicides producer Chris Hanley.