Paul Verhoeven Goes Biblical with 'Jesus of Nazareth' Adaptation

June 20, 2012
Source: Deadline

Paul Verhoeven / Jesus of Nazareth

Before the concept of being "politically correct" was popularized, movies based on the Bible were made all the time. Now, directors Darren Aronofsky, Ridley Scott, Steven Spielberg, and even James Watkins all have biblical movies in various stages of development, so it's safe to say that stories from the Good Book are back en vogue. You can now add Paul Verhoeven to that list of directors, because Deadline reports that the Robocop and Total Recall filmmaker has an alternate take on the life of Jesus Christ brewing, based on his book Jesus of Nazareth that he co-wrote, and the film is sure to stir up some controversy. More below!

Pulp Fiction co-writer Roger Avary is writing the movie, which offers a radically different take on the life of Jesus Christ than what Christians believe. Verhoeven studied the life of Christ for nearly twenty years, and doesn't believe that immaculate conception, any of Jesus' miracles, or the resurrection actually happened. He even goes as far as to imply that Christ was born because his mother was raped by Roman soldiers, something I'm sure will generate a ton of publicity because of protests from believers everywhere. Verhoeven seems to be coming at this project with mostly positive intentions, though, claiming he wants to explore the messages that Jesus preached and concentrate on how He was a radical prophet who revolutionized the field of ethics. Since none of the major studios would touch a project like this, it's being made as an indie film and funded by Muse Productions, so we'll see if this one ever leaves the development stages or if Verhoeven can bring Jesus' messages to the world in a shocking new way.

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Looks to me the reason why there are so many biblical projects because Hollywood is going full-scale mockery and distortion so people can be even more confused.

Cody on Jun 20, 2012


A new Verhoeven flick? Sign me up!

Alehkhs on Jun 20, 2012


BAHAHAHAHA! Verhoeven must be desperate. He hasn't made a good film in over a decade. Quite frankly I'm appalled by the idea of a biblical film by the director of Show Girls. No thanks.

Christopher Batty on Jun 20, 2012


might as well just make it a remake of 'Jesus Christ SuperStar'

Jericho on Jun 20, 2012


If Paul and others are right, and he probably is (Jesus as a mortal revolutionary? Hardly more controversial or questionable than him being an immortal super-being) I could easily see this film becoming essential viewing. The truth, whatever it may be, is more important than anyone's beliefs. Only a closed mind intent on belief for belief's sake would refuse the chance to weigh this one up fairly. And what's more, I really miss Verhoeven's unique impact and directing style. Haters will immediately mention Showgirls, not realizing of course that even that film is an over-the-top delight - a gaudy, cartoonish train wreck that is never boring. Not every film has to be The King's Speech. We need Paul Verhoeven around purely to upset people.

crystaltowers on Jun 20, 2012


What people don't understand is that the guy's last several films have been satires. Starship Troopers is making fun of how jingoistic the US is, and it's being pretty blatant about it, but for some reason a lot of people see the obvious propaganda bits as comedy and the rest of the movie as serious action movie. Showgirls has the same sort of thing going on. It's making fun of people who objectify women. You'll have a scene of a bunch of guys going apeshit over some woman stripping, then the next scene is some dude abusing the fuck out of the same woman. That juxtaposition would make most people cringe, but for the people who are dumb enough to pay money to see tits on a screen (which is what most people went to see this movie for) the relationship of two scenes of that type is lost. Those movies are saying "Stop being blindly patriotic gung-ho fucktards" and "Stop treating women like garbage", but the vast majority of people watching them don't get the irony. That lack of understanding is the joke, made at the expense of a certain percentage of the audience. The problem with Showgirls was that it was a bit too cheesy and stupid, even for the people who generally get off that sort of movie. He scaled it back when he made Starship Troopers.

Squiggly_P on Jun 20, 2012


Maybe he can get Presbyterian bishop Spong as a religious advisor.

Michael Zorn on Jun 20, 2012


This time my tongue be closed! I love Paul verhoven , really love his works! I'm dreaming?!?! He Wana make Life of Jesus , Oh Jesus Christ , Mel Gibson is God (not blasphemer) he make movie without English language and real as Hell. He made a revolutionary Mastetpiece. From my Heart & Honestly wish Paul deliver us something worth again (but not in 12 last hours of life of Jesus because that work done already). Ultimate Exited

Ehsan Davodi on Jun 20, 2012


Oh dear god this could be interesting... Love Verhoeven.

grimjob on Jun 20, 2012


Given the way this post is written, I have to ask ... You do know that the Catholic doctrine of the Immaculate Conception refers to the conception of Jesus' mother Mary ... And not that of Jesus Himself. Right?

Edward Curtis on Jun 20, 2012


Verhoeven loves to yell at people on set and grope actor's breasts himself! Hell yea I want to see him make this film.

Louis Baker on Jun 20, 2012


If ever there was a movie I would actively boycott...this would be it. I loved Starship Troopers, Robocop, Total Recall, and even Hollow Man but I simply can't support this film at all. Too bad Verhoeven's first flick in years is open blasphemy. You expect me to believe this guy studied the life of Christ for 20 years? Really? He just wants to do this project because controversy equals publicity and publicity equals money.

Lamar on Jun 21, 2012


I find more blasphemous the fact that most christians are more concerned about divinity of Jesus and his godly atributes then about the message he was preaching.Do you really need him to be supernatural in order for his message to be meaningfull?

Jesus was a man on Jun 21, 2012


Cool , Exellent answer but Lamar have right to be bother, Film has very radical theme for christians, But also a good Christian never boycott any ideas too, Jesus never blame Roman Soldiers or Jewds for their thoughts, he wispher with himself and told god forgive them, Just That , 2000 years always there are people who love this guy as man or beyond then be sure dear Lamar no one can delete him. This is just movie and certainly there is some hidden poins in life of Christ, then first see movie and then express your thoughts, maybe you see something that was seem right to you and you never notice it.

Ehsan Davodi on Jun 21, 2012


I understand what you mean, but saying Jesus was just a man takes away from the fact of why he was on earth in the first place. Jesus was the Son of God and came to earth to die for the sins of mankind. His three years of ministry was getting the world prepared for that day so that when he ascended back into heaven after the resurrection, people would know they could be saved from the payment of that sin (Hell) and continue to spread this message. If Jesus was just a man, then none of that would matter. If you say that Jesus was not divine, then you are only getting half the message. I'm all for "What If..." stories but there are some lines you really shouldn't cross.

Lamar on Jun 21, 2012


Well Jesus will forgive him.In fact he died on the cross for all mankind not just those who blindly adhere to christian dogma.Even the worst kind of criminal you can think of.And there is no admission fee.You don't even have to believe in him.The church is just peddling their bullshit so they can enjoy priviliges of being the middle man.Christ loves all.Also I don't think he ever preached of hell as an actual place,more as state of affairs between humans.Hell is a scare tactic divised by church and their ilk.How can he truly love us all and condemn at the same time?He does not.It's just lies by the church to control the masses. Same goes for the bible.Written by man,therefore false.Inspired by God but written by man.What garanties do you have the writters were not peddling their bullshit agenda? It's all just mithology anyway.And yes,I am a christian.And there is no hell but what we make.Just ask Jesus.

Ranting on Jun 21, 2012


Only if he gets Joe Eszterhas to script.

rennmaxbeta on Jun 21, 2012


I hope they give a girlfriend to Jesus in this version...

DeMedeiros Carlos Luis on Jun 21, 2012


I will ACTIVELY BOYCOTT this film and its director!!!...and agressively spread the word to everyone I encounter to follow suit!!!...satan 'manipulated' this project, and certainly realizes who Jesus Christ IS, and delights in weilding his influence in the genre of 'entertainment' to a seemingly bottomless pit of ignorant sheeple; souls that satan 'wishes' to claim as his domain...Hollywood is bound in satan's shackles, and eats from his hand to appease only its insatiable financial appetite.

KindredSpiritBC on Jun 21, 2012


Well he's 74. He'll get to hell soon and learn that he was wrong after all.

Js on Sep 21, 2012

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