Update: Joseph Fiennes, Douglas Booth, Alfonso Postiglione, and Lorenzo Gioiell are also part of the cast, One Big Soul confirms. See the original story below.
Terrence Malick’s magnificent new drama A Hidden Life, which finds him reteaming with Fox Searchlight after his magnum opus The Tree of Life, is currently enjoying screenings at TIFF ahead of a December release, but the recently-prolific director isn’t resting on his laurels. It was revealed earlier this summer that he embarked on production on The Last Planet, a film that would convey passages in the life of Christ through representing evangelical parables.
Now, we have more enticing details, including the first cast members. Oscar winner Mark Rylance unveiled he’s part of the film, as well as two more additions to the ensemble, while speaking to Allocine at the Deauville American Film Festival. Matthias Schoenaerts, who has a role in A Hidden Life, will reteam with the director, while Son of Saul star Géza Röhrig is also coming on board.
Here’s where things get more intriguing as Rylance reveals he’ll be playing Satan, Schoenaerts is playing Saint Peter, and Röhrig will be playing Jesus. Translated from French, Rylance added, “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 realized 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 theater, 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.”
Rylance says his part of the production will begin in October, so we should see the film premiere sometime around (wait, let me do the math…) 2022. He also revealed he’s working on an unnamed project with Paul Greengrass and he’s unsure if Steven Spielberg’s The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara is ever going to happen. Alas, we’ll get this Malick film someday, and it sounds wildly fascinating already.