Joaquin Phoenix is said to be in consideration for the role of Jesus, in Garth Davis’ upcoming Mary Magdalene film opposite Rooney Mara, according to Deadline. The three time Oscar nominee is said to be in early talks for the role, with production on the film due to begin this summer.

Joaquin PhoenixJoaquin Phoenix is said to be in talks to play Jesus.

Phoenix is known for his versatility, having previously portrayed country legend Johnny Cash, for which he was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar. He also reviewed nominations for his roles in 2000’s Gladiator and The Master in 2012.

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His most recent role was as stoner private detective ‘Doc’ in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice for which he received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy.

News of a Mary Magdalene film was first reported by Deadline earlier this year, who revealed that the movie was being produced by The King’s Speech producers See-Saw Films and studio Universal. The film is described as ‘an authentic and humanistic portrait of one of the most enigmatic and misunderstood spiritual figures in history.’

Universal’s Peter Kujawski said of the film: “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.”

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Garth Davis, who is best known for his work on series ‘Top of the Lake’ starring Elisabeth Moss, will direct, from a script by Helen Edmundson & Philippa Goslett. Production is set to begin this summer, with a 2017 released date eyed.