Is Hugh Jackman really starring in a movie about Saint Paul?

Is Hugh Jackman really starring in a movie about Saint Paul? March 31, 2015

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Is this a genuine news story, or an April Fool’s Day story that leaked a day early?

Either way, I might as well link to it for now: Deadline reports that Hugh Jackman will star in a movie called Apostle Paul that he, Jackman, will produce with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. The screenplay is reportedly being written by Matt Cook.

The apostle Paul has been depicted in a number of films before, most of which I wrote about in this blog post two years ago. At least two films have also imagined that Paul was involved in the plot to kill Lazarus after Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead.

Actors who have played Paul in the past include Anthony Hopkins (in 1981’s Peter and Paul) and Harry Dean Stanton (in 1988’s The Last Temptation of Christ).

This news also comes just five days before NBC premieres A.D.: The Bible Continues, a dramatization of the book of Acts that will also depict the conversion of Paul.

I look forward to seeing whether any other news sites confirm this Deadline story.

Update: Variety and several other websites are confirming the news now.

The Tracking Board even says this project was originally announced last year, though presumably Jackman, Damon and Affleck weren’t involved at that point yet.

Hitfix also links to this interesting 2009 interview with Jackman in Parade:

Jackman was raised by his father, who is a devout, born-again Christian. His mother deserted the family when he was 8 and moved back to her native England. Hoping his son would also have a born-again experience, his father took Hugh to Billy Graham crusades every time the famed evangelist came to Australia.

“He takes his religion very seriously and would prefer I go to church,” Jackman says of his father. “We’ve had discussions about our separate beliefs. I just find the evangelical church too, well, restrictive. But the School of Practical Philosophy is nonconfrontational. We believe there are many forms of Scripture. What is true is true and will never change, whether it’s in the Bible or in Shakespeare. It’s about oneness. Its basic philosophy is that if the Buddha and Krishna and Jesus were all at a dinner table together, they wouldn’t be arguing. There is an essential truth. And we are limitless.”

The interviews on the Apostle Paul press tour should be interesting! Especially given that the biblical Paul could be both inclusive and rather argumentative.

April 2 update: Pier Paolo Pasolini also tried to make a movie about Paul, but it would have taken place in the present day rather than the ancient past.

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