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Paul Verhoeven Making Controversial ‘Jesus of Nazareth’ Movie

Paul Verhoeven
mipmarkets, Flickr

Move over, Darren Aronofsky — there’s another biblical tale in the works. Director Paul Verhoeven (the original ‘RoboCop,’ ‘Showgirls’) has found funding and a writer for his potentially shocking film about Jesus, titled ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’

Based on the book he c0-wrote and spent almost two decades researching and developing, Verhoeven is finally moving forward on a film adaptation of the project. According to Deadline, producer Chris Hanley (‘American Psycho’) has stepped up to back ‘Jesus of Nazareth,’ which will have a script courtesy of Roger Avary (‘Pulp Fiction,’ ‘Reservoir Dogs’).

But what is so controversial about his take on Jesus? Deadline elaborates:

Verhoeven’s take on the life of Jesus Christ discounts all of the miracles that inform the New Testament. That includes the immaculate conception, and the resurrection. Verhoeven doesn’t believe any of them happened… The most controversial: that Jesus might have been the product of his mother being raped by a Roman soldier, which Verhoeven said was commonplace at the time, and that Jesus was a radical prophet who performed exorcisms and was convinced he would find the kingdom of Heaven on earth, and did not know he would be sentenced to die on the cross by Pontius Pilate.

Verhoeven’s take sounds pretty intense, and we’d expect nothing less from a guy who gave us giant alien bugs, a woman with three boobs, and the memorable pool scene in ‘Showgirls’ between Elizabeth Berkley and Kyle McLachlan (What. Up).

The director says his vision focuses more on Christ’s more positive and divisive beliefs, saying, “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. I believe he was crucified because they felt that politically, he was a dangerous person whose following was getting bigger and bigger. Jesus’ ideals are about the utopia of human behavior, about how we should treat each other, how we should step into the shoes of our enemy.”

So Jesus was a danger to politics? This all sounds very relevant to our current socio-political climate. Godspeed, Mr. Verhoeven.

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