Fresh off the set of Killers of the Flower Moon, Marty is already getting stuck into a new project about the most famous man in the world. No, not Dwayne Johnson (surprisingly, he is the actual holder of that title) but Jesus Christ. When everyone’s favourite TikToker spoke to the Los Angeles Times about his untitled Jesus film, he revealed that it’s based off Shūsaku Endō’s book A Life of Jesus, and that the script has already been penned by himself and critic and filmmaker Kent Jones. Focusing on Jesus’ core teachings – loving others, loving God, and all that malarkey – Scorsese said that he’s aiming to make religion “more accessible” with the film. His inspiration? His meeting with Pope Francis at a conference called “Global Aesthetics of the Catholic Imagination”.
Being a director of Scorsese’s calibre means you get a lot of artistic license. Most of all, you get to make films with an ungodly runtime. Killers of a Flower Moon – which actor Lily Gladstone took home a Golden Globe award for on Sunday – had a runtime of 3 hours and 26 minutes. Is that too long? Perhaps. It seems that Scorsese thinks so. He also told the Los Angeles Times that the Jesus film would only be about 80 minutes. Thank the lord (literally).
And the final tidbit we’ve learnt about Marty’s next film – though decidedly on the rumour side of things – is that Andrew Garfield might have dropped out of Guillermo Del Toro’s upcoming adaptation of Frankenstein to star.
It’s safe to say that putting religion on the silver screen is no easy feat. Though Scorsese has experience weighing in on the subject – his 1988 film The Last Temptation of Christ saw Willem Dafoe take on the role of J-man – in the past, films about Jesus have proved controversial. Mel Gibson’s 2004 film The Passion of the Christ was heavily criticised for its OTT violence and antisemitism. Since its release nearly twenty years ago, it’s been a mainstay on lists of the most contentious flicks. Even Scorsese himself has first hand experience of getting a not-so-warm reception from certain audiences. Several Christian groups organised protests and boycotts of The Last Temptation of Christ.
But if there was a time to play with fire (again) it’s now. Scorsese’s Jesus project will come not long after the release of Jeymes Samuel’s The Book of Clarence, which offers a revisionist take on the story of the messiah. Among the pearl-clutchers, it’s predominantly Black cast will likely cause some offence. 2023 is also said to be the year that the cancelled Gibson will start filming for The Passion of the Christ: Resurrection – Part I.
Feeling like you can’t wait to get all Jesus-y? How about getting into a little known book called The Bible? We’ve heard that it’s quite long, but there’s some fun bits about fish and stuff.