Garth Davis, the director behind Lion and four episodes of the gorgeous Top of the Lake, has stepped behind the camera for a new biblical epic about Mary Magdalene, a woman who, according to the Bible, traveled with Jesus and was the first to testify to his resurrection. Just like Lion, Mary Magdalene seems poised to make me cry next to strangers while I watch it as part of my in-flight entertainment. (Or maybe I’ll see it in theaters—who am I to know the future?)
Mary Magdalene stars Rooney Mara as Mary Magdalene, and Joaquin Phoenix as Jesus (so, he can check that role off of his bucket list) and, from the looks of the trailer, the story seems to avoid the temptation to center the more famous of biblical figures in the narrative. (Chiwetel Ejiofor is also there, which tends to be a good sign for movies.)
The trailer is gorgeous and visually understated, while at the same time emotionally all-in. (It’s the perfect Crying on Planes Movie, I’m telling you.) The movie, which was began filming in October 2016, finally has a release date (April 12 in theaters and April 19 on-demand) after a rocky road to distribution. The film was originally scheduled for a November 2017 release through The Weinstein Company. The release was then pushed back to March 2018 following the breaking of the Harvey Weinstein scandal. Eventually, Mary Magdalene found a new home at IFC Films.
Check out the trailer, which is all in on its Be The Change mood…
And here’s the official synopsis for the film:
She is one of the most transformative yet misunderstood women in history, alternately vilified as a sinner and canonized as a saint. For the first time, the incredible story of Mary Magdalene is told through her own eyes. In the first century A.D., the free-spirited Mary (Rooney Mara) flees the marriage her family has arranged for her, finding refuge and a sense of purpose in a radical new movement led by the charismatic, rabble-rousing preacher Jesus (Joaquin Phoenix). The sole woman among his band of disciples, Mary defies the prejudices of a patriarchal society as she undergoes a profound spiritual awakening and finds herself at the center of an earth-shaking historical moment. Boldly challenging received wisdom, Mary Magdalene is a rapturous, moving account of a miraculous woman who risked everything to follow her faith.