The Hollywood Reporter says Israeli actress Hadas Yaron has joined the cast of Mary Magdalene as the title character’s sister-in-law Sarah. The film’s previously announced co-stars include Rooney Mara as Mary Magdalene, Joaquin Phoenix as Jesus, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Peter and Tahar Rahim as Judas Iscariot.
1. I somehow missed the fact that Clavius, which concerns a Roman soldier investigating reports of the Resurrection of Jesus, started shooting a couple weeks ago. Tom Felton, who played Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies, posted some photos to Instagram — and apparently he’s playing a character named Lucius, which also happened to be the name of Draco Malfoy’s father.
In addition to Felton and Joseph Fiennes, who is playing the presumably titular Roman investigator, the film’s IMDb page lists several actors who are playing well-known Bible characters — and at least two of those actors have extensive experience in the Bible-movie genre already.
Four years ago, I wrote a blog post on The Big Fisherman (1959), one of the more obscure Bible movies ever released by a major Hollywood studio.
As far as I know, the film, which was originally distributed by Walt Disney’s Buena Vista division, has never been officially released to home video, at least not in North America. But I had read a bit about it in books on the history of Jesus movies — the title refers to the apostle Peter — and I was intrigued by the information I found at the Internet Movie Database.
For one thing, the film is based on a novel by Lloyd C. Douglas, who also wrote The Robe, which 20th Century Fox turned into a much more famous film in 1953. For another, it seemed that this film might rely on the secular account of Herod Antipas and John the Baptist given to us by Josephus, which no other film I could think of had ever done.
And what did the apostle Peter have to do with any of this? I had no idea, but I was curious to find out.