Mary Magdalene is certainly a figure who has been prominent in pop culture in the last 30 years or so—as well as really all Western culture for closer to 2,000 years. The woman who was worth mentioning a dozen times in the Bible’s New Testament (which is more than apostles Simon and James the Lesser got!) was still never fully counted as one of the apostles by the scriptures—and since one of the those 12 was Judas Iscariot, that is saying something.
Now, the Biblical figure takes the spotlight, with former The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo star Rooney Mara as the titular star of Mary Magdalene, joined by the ever-eccentric Joaquin Phoenix as her admired love interest with a famous dad. The film was directed by Garth Davis, who comes off the 2016 acclaimed India-set drama, Lion.
Mary Magdalene Trailer
“Are we [women] so different from men you must teach us different things?”
The Mary Magdalene trailer looks to shed the historical reputation of Rooney Mara’s title character, replacing the portrayal of a Biblical groupie with that of a trusted advisor to whom Jesus (Joaquin Phoenix) turns for wisdom and solace, despite being advised by apostle Peter (Chiwetel Ejiofor) to hide her presence. In essence, she’s a figure guided by feminist ideals that, despite her declaration to be heard, is destined to remain restricted to the shade of myth.
Mary Magdalene Release Date
Mary Magdalene will arrive at theaters just in time for Easter (April 1,) on March 30, 2018.
Interestingly, the Universal and See-Saw-produced film’s feminist interpretation of Mary Magdalene’s life will certainly stand as a thematic clash with its primary distributor of The Weinstein Company, despite the exit of its embattled eponymous head, Harvey Weinstein, after an array of escalating sexual abuse allegations. However, unlike other projects under the same banner, the release of Mary Magdalene is moving forward, despite that specter.
Mary Magdalene Details
Portrayed controversially as Jesus’ fantasy lover in Martin Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) and as Jesus’ wife in Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code potboiler (and the $758 million-grossing Tom Hanks movie that followed it), she has gotten a new found form of notoriety, which should be all too welcomed after being mischaracterized by the Catholic Church for over a thousand years to have been a fallen woman (i.e. prostitute) who Jesus saved—nowhere in the Bible is she described in such a fashion.
In any event, this enigmatic figure has still proven seductive enough to get her own movie. As according to Deadline, producers Iain Canning and Emile Sherman’s See-Saw Films production company is partnering with Universal to make a movie focused exclusively on Mary Magdalene. See-Saw, which has produced the Oscar winning The King’s Speech, as well as Shame and Macbeth, is aiming for a 2017 release date. Indeed, director Garth Davis is already attached to helm the movie. Davis is currently finishing up his first feature film, Lion, which stars Rooney Mara, Nicole Kidman, and Dev Patel.
Peter Kujawski and Robert Walak, Universal’s UPIP co-managing directors, said in a statement, “Mary Magdalene is a strong character, who was so unique in her time, and her story will give audiences a chance to experience the cultural turbulence, human passions, and devotional beliefs that set in motion so much of modern history.”
Mary Magdalene has made it to the big screen before, most recently as realized by Barbara Hershey in the aforementioned Last Temptation of Christ and as played by Monica Bellucci in Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ in 2004.