Snippets have been seeping out over the last few months about the project, which will tell the story of Christ’s life through a series of parables. Pic has been shooting in Italy.
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Son of Saul star Geza Rohrig will play Jesus, Matthias Schoenaerts will portray Apostle Peter, and Mark Rylance will be Satan. We understand the cast also includes Joseph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley, Douglas Booth, Tawfeek Barhom, Martin McCann, Ori Pfeffer, Shadi Mar’i, Makram Khoury, Numan Acar, Emilio De Marchi, Bjorn Thors, Alfonso Postiglione and Lorenzo Gioielli.
Speaking at the Deauville film festival this month, Rylance told the Guardian, “Terry wrote four versions of the character of Satan and I thought I would play only one. But I heard I was going to play all four. One of them must have been a woman at some point, but it was when he asked me to grow a beard that I realised I wasn’t going to do it that way.
“I’m very happy to act for Terrence Malick, but I’m intrigued, because I hear he talks to you all the time. And coming from the theatre, I’m not used to the director yelling at me while I act or tell me what to do. But his films always intrigued me.”
The project re-teams Malick with his A Hidden Life DP Jörg Widmer, who was a camera operator on a number of the auteur’s previous movies. Little is known at this stage about financing for the project.
Malick’s latest film A Hidden Life, also starring Schoenaerts, debuted at Cannes earlier this year. As we revealed from the Croisette, Fox Searchlight swooped on the movie for around $12 million and will release it in the U.S. on December 13.