Warner Bros. has just picked up a script to a new biblical film called Pontius Pilate, from screenwriter Vera Blasi (Tortilla Soup, Woman On Top and Emperor), based on the man who sent Jesus Christ to his death. This sounds like it will be an incredible film project, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it turns out!
According to Deadline who has read the script, the story follows "the evolution of Lucius Pontius Pilate from the sensitive son of a Roman Knight into a ferocious soldier whose warrior exploits make him a general and puts him on a political track under the Roman Emperor Tiberius. Promised a military governorship in Egypt, Pilate is instead assigned by Tiberius to become the prefect of Judea, at a time when Jerusalem was a cauldron of religious tensions between various factions of the Jewish faith. Pilate veers from the political fast track into the express lane to hell and historical infamy. Rather than a straight ahead Biblical film, Blasi’s script reads almost like a Biblical era Twilight Zone episode in which a proud, capable Roman soldier gets in way over his head. His arrogance and inability to grasp the devoutness of the citizenry and its hatred for the Roman occupiers and their pagan gods leads him to make catastrophic decisions. All of this puts him in a desperate situation and in need of public approval when he is asked to decide the fate of a 33-year old rabbi accused by religious elders of claiming he is King of the Jews. Along the way, such Roman emperors including Caligula and Tiberius and New Testament figures like John the Baptist, Salome and Mary Magdalene are seen in a tale that culminates with Pilate’s fateful decision to allow Jesus Christ to be crucified."
This sounds like it could be a great intense movie. This seems like it will have the same epic feel of some of those old-school biblical inspired films like The Ten Commandments, Spartacus and Ben-Hur. Then there's other comparable films such as Gladiator, Braveheart and Passion of the Christ which are mentioned in Deadline's rundown of the script saying that it had "the twists and unexpected turns that satisfyingly combine history, political maneuvering and storytelling inventions reminiscent of such films as Braveheart and Gladiator. Blasi has also taken the care to explain the motivations of religious leaders like the Jewish high priest Caiaphas (who engineers Christ’s demise) as these leaders tried to bring varying religious sects under one roof, and the script doesn’t have the polarizing chill some felt in The Passion of the Christ."
The screenwriter spent 10 years researching Pontius Pilate, and claims the script she wrote is 80% fact based, which is pretty impressive.
Other biblical films being developed in Hollywood right now include, Darren Aronfsky's Noah, Will Smith's Cain and Able movie, Mel Gibson's Judah Macabee, Steven Spielberg's Moses film Gods and Kings, and Basic Instinct director Paul Verhoeven is directing a movie about Christ.
I hope this Pontius Pilate movie turns out as good as I imagine it being. What do you think about a movie being made on this historical biblical figure?