More details about Nativity! has posted a “script review” of Nativity — the upcoming movie about Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus, written by Mike Rich, directed by Catherine Hardwicke, and starring Keisha Castle-Hughes as Mary and Shohreh Aghdashloo as Elizabeth.

The film is currently being shot in Matera, Italy — the very same region where Mel Gibson shot The Passion of the Christ (2004) and Pier Paolo Pasolini shot The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1964). Next month, the production moves to Morocco.

Shaun Toub, last seen in Crash (2004), has been cast as Mary’s father Joachim, or Joaquim. No word yet on who is playing Mary’s mother, Anna — or whether the film will follow the Orthodox, Catholic, or later Protestant traditions regarding the relationship between Joseph, Mary and the “brothers and sisters” of Jesus.

Among other things, the script reviewer comments:

As someone who was raised Catholic, I found Nativity to be a reverent recounting of the biblical story that also added an insightful socio-political dimension to the world Mary would have been brought up in. The most striking thing about Mary’s story is that she never gets to choose her own path. Her future is dictated by everyone else; her father tells her she will marry Joseph, and it’s not like God asked Mary for permission before the Immaculate Conception [sic]. Mary’s future is simply thrust upon her and she bears her burden with dignity, faith and fortitude.

Obviously, this story, unlike a more conventional narrative, can’t have Mary rejecting her call only to rise to the occasion later. Her path is pretty straightforward. I can’t help but note that even Jesus had a moment of doubt in the garden of Gethsemane but not Mary. She gets nervous and confused but never truly wavers.

Joseph generates a great measure of sympathy. He is a blue collar laborer who, like Mary, is called upon by God to take part in something greater than himself. Joseph is a man that hasn’t asked for much out of life and will do what he must to provide for his family. You can’t help but feel that this everyman got a whole lot more than he ever bargained for.

As ever, this sounds very, very interesting.

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  • RC

    Great post…very interesting I had to share and give credit to your blog today for this piece of information.

    I agree that will be very interesting.

    –RC of

  • I also came across this article…this movie looks very promising! I understand that the title has changed from “Nativity” to “The Nativity Story.” Do you know how/when that change took place, and that it’s official? I hope this movie is well-done with the reverence offered by the recent movies “Passion” and “Gospel of John.” Waiting with great anticipation…

  • Anonymous

    26And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,

    27To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.

    28And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

    29And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.

    30And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.

    31And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.

    32He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:

    33And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

    34Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?

    35And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

    36And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.

    37For with God nothing shall be impossible.

    38And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

    I would say that Mary definitely had
    a choice in the matter and submitted willingly as verse 38 shows. As she would say later in luke 1:48 “henceforth all generations will call me blessed.”