Brad Pitt no longer attached to star in Pontius Pilate

troy-bradpittAlmost two years after it was first announced that Brad Pitt might star in a movie about Pontius Pilate for Warner Brothers, Deadline is reporting that neither Pitt nor Warner are attached to the project any more — but the film may still get made by one of the “several financiers” who are “chasing” it.

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Newsbites: Noah! Christ the Lord! Nazareth! A.D.! Clavius!

vlcsnap-2014-10-03-16h10m29s238Happy Monday. Here’s a round-up of recent Bible-movie news (with pictures!) to help you start the week.

1. Darren Aronofsky, whose films have received serious Oscar buzz more often than not (Requiem for a Dream, The Wrestler and Black Swan were all nominated for their acting, among other things, and the last of those films actually won), is still doing what he can to keep Noah on the Academy’s mind.

Last week he spoke to Variety about the excellent work that cinematographer Matthew Libatique, production designer Mark Friedberg, editor Andrew Weisblum, visual effects supervisor Dan Schrecker, composer Clint Mansell and, of course, Patti Smith contributed to the film; and tonight, Aronofsky and Smith will be hosting a screening of the film at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York.

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Our first look at the cast for The Bible follow-up series A.D.

ad-jesusAt last, we know who some (but not all) of the actors will be in A.D., the NBC series that Mark Burnett and Roma Downey are producing as a follow-up to their hit miniseries The Bible.

First, People reveals that Jesus will be played by Argentinian actor Juan Pablo di Pace, and, just as Diogo Morgado’s Jesus in The Bible quickly earned the nickname “Hot Jesus”, so too People notes that di Pace is “easy-on-the-eyes”.

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Ben-Hur has found its Esther and its Pontius Pilate

pascal-gadotTimur Bekmambetov’s upcoming remake of Ben-Hur may be different from the 1959 version in a number of ways, but in one way it will be remarkably similar: it will feature an Israeli beauty-contest winner as Esther, the Jewish slave girl that Judah Ben-Hur falls in love with.

In 1959, the part was played by Haya Harareet, who won one of the first beauty contests in Israel after that nation came into being in 1948; and now, according to The Hollywood Reporter, the part will be played by former Miss Israel Gal Gadot.

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Newsbites: Clavius! The Dovekeepers! Black Nativity! Book of Amos!

clavius-tomfeltonFour quick Bible-movie-ish items.

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.

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The Bible and Son of God: just how different are they?

sonofgod-bluray-aIf you’re the sort of person who has wondered just how much overlap there was between The Bible and its big-screen spin-off Son of God, have I got the spreadsheet for you!

It’s still a work in progress, but for now, anyone who is interested can download it from this Dropbox link. The basic idea is this: in one column, I list the timecodes for every scene from the last five episodes of The Bible (with the episode number where the hour would be), and in another, I list the timecodes for every scene in Son of God.

The advantages of this format are twofold: First, you can compare the relative lengths of the two versions of any given scene; more often than not, the movie tightened things up a tad, but every now and then the movie padded things out by adding elements that were missing from the miniseries. And second, because the movie added some scenes, deleted some scenes, and rearranged some other scenes, you can select either column and list all the scenes from one version of the film in the order in which they appeared in that version.

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