Good Idea? ‘Sanctum’ Director Alister Grierson to Direct ‘Mary Mother of Christ’

News from Cannes: The movie about Mary, Mother of Christ that has been bouncing around Hollywood for years may be moving closer to reality.

The Wrap reports that Alister Grierson has been tapped to direct the film. The screenplay is co-written by Benedict Fitzgerald, who co-wrote The Passion of the Christ and later sued Mel Gibson for unfair deprivation of compensation for the movie. The other writer is Barbara Nicolosi, Director of the Galileo Film Studio at Azusa Pacific University.

The Wrap writes:

Israeli actress Odeya Rush has been cast in the title role, while other actors will include Julia Ormond and Peter O’Toole. The press release announcing the deal says that producers Mary Aloe and Shawn Williamson are currently negotiating with “one of England’s most famous Academy Award winners” to play Herod.

The release also couldn’t resist describing the Biblical tale in Hollywood terms, claiming that “Mary Mother of Christ” is “considered to be the Biblical prequel to the story of ‘The Passion of the Christ.'”

Filming is scheduled to start in the summer. The film will be marketed to faith communities with the help of controversial television preacher Joel Osteen, Pastor of the Lakewood Church in Houston, TX.

Alister Grierson seems like an odd choice to me because his biggest movie is Sanctum, I film I hated and found evil. It was billed as an action adventure movie about exploring a cave. What’s evil about that, you ask? Within 30 minutes, we have our first desperate act, in which Frank lovingly and gently drowns one of his friends, a fellow named Luko who’s been banged up by the rushing water. This film has no heroic rescues or daring feats of courage. Its highest nobility is when one friend kills another. It was a dreary and dreadful movie with no hope or redemption.

Being as how the Biblical story is all about redemption, the worldviews seem to clash.

For more background, check out Peter Chattaway’s discussions of this movie at the Art & Faith discussion board or his blog, FilmChat.

This article has been updated to reflect that Barbara Nicolosi is Director of the Galileo Film Studio, which is housed at Azusa Pacific University but separate from their Department of Theater, Film and Television. Previous versions identified her as the head of the Film Department.


via Cannes: Alister Grierson to Direct Biblical ‘Prequel’ ‘Mary Mother of Christ’ | The Wrap Movies.

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  • david m

    The chairs of the Azusa Pacific University film department are Monica Ganas and Thomas Parham. Ms. Nicolosi isn’t even on the list.

  • Barbara Nicolosi

    My APU students will be dismayed to know that I am not really on the faculty.

  • JOF

    Good idea casting Julia Ormond.