Director Paul Verhoeven (RoboCop, 1990’s Total Recall) has nabbed Pulp Fiction co-writer Roger Avary to handle the screenplay adaptation of Jesus of Nazareth, a controversial book Verhoeven co-wrote, giving an alternate take on the life of Christ. This all comes from Deadline, reporting that the movie has found a funder in producer Chris Hanley (American Psycho, The Killer Inside Me).
Discounting all the miracles depicted in the New Testament, Verhoeven’s version includes one controversial proposition: that Jesus was the result of his mother being raped by a Roman soldier.
I'll let that sink in for a bit.
Although Verhoeven’s filmography ranges from the satirical (RoboCop) to the ridiculous (Total Recall) to the just-plain-terrible (Showgirls), he isn’t being vicious about his position.
“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 last year. “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.
“Jesus’ ideals are about the utopia of human behaviour, about how we should treat each other, how we should step into the shoes of our enemy.”