If the heroes of comic books start to lose public interest, heroes of The Bible might be Hollywood’s next-best bet. It only scratches the surface when I say Aronofsky has Noah, Ridley Scott wants to make Moses, and Spielberg might be doing Gods and Kings, yet Warner Bros. — who are not only behind the lattermost, but also hope to have it going in just a couple of years’ time — are making another move in this realm, with Deadline reporting that the studio has picked up Pontius Pilate.
Vera Blasi (Emperor) has written the prospective film, which is earning comparisons to Gladiator and Braveheart, thanks to its mixture of action and political plots which are, in and of themselves, a combination of fact and fiction. (The writer claims about 80% of her script is rooted in historical record.) In it, we see the growth of Lucius Pontius Pilate from “the sensitive son of a Roman Knight [to] a ferocious soldier” tasked by Tiberius with going to Judea and acting as a prefect. Though an honor, it’s also a job that forces him to handle Judaism’s different sections during a time of heavy conflict.
From here, it’s said to almost resemble an episode of The Twilight Zone, with its protagonist soon finding himself in an unbreakable bind; this is only compounded by (deep breath) an “arrogance and inability to grasp the devoutness of the citizenry and its hatred for the Roman occupiers and their pagan gods,” all of which leads him on a decision-making path that only makes matters worse. Soon, however, a 33-year-old Rabbi with some big enemies presents an opportunity for redemption in the eyes of the public. Although it acts as Pilate‘s climax, you already know how that one goes.
Along with Him, we can expect “cameos,” should that word be applicable, from the likes of Caligula, Mary Magdalene, John the Baptist, and Salome. They’re all lining up for another shot at the silver screen.
Now, I do think Hollywood is close to reaching some kind of saturation point with their Biblical films — and I say this before any have come out — so maybe Pontius Pilate is about, oh, six months late in coming down the pipeline. Nevertheless, it feels like the sort of tale that could make way for a film which compels in spite (or without the weight) of its origins; maybe the comparisons to Ridley Scott get me interested. No matter the reason, I think WB have something on their hands here.
Based on this information, would you say Pontius Pilate could work as a feature?
Welcome, one and all, to the newest episode of The Film Stage Roundtable, a spin-off podcast from the madmen who bring you The Film Stage Show. On this show, we discuss two theatrical-minded topics: our thoughts on food in movie theaters and assigned seating. Give a listen, and then share your thoughts on Twitter and Facebook. Let us know […]
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