The director of the Mary Magdalene film, Garth Davis, has worked with Mara before, on an upcoming film called Lion, and he had this to say about her:
This would be Mara’s first foray into the Bible-movie genre.
“Rooney’s raw, brave approach to performances, coupled with her deeply magnetic inner life, holds all the dimensions needed to bring to life one of history’s most misunderstood woman — Mary Magdalene,” said Davis. “Having worked with Rooney on Lion, I know she is a once in a lifetime talent.”
There was a bit of a controversy a couple years back when Mara, who is of primarily Irish descent, was cast as Tiger Lily, a Native American character, in Joe Wright’s Pan.
Filmmakers have increasingly made a point of casting ethnically appropriate actors in biblical films, and have often caught flak when they didn’t, so it will be interesting to see if casting Mara as the Magdalene attracts any of that sort of attention.
The film is set to start shooting this summer, for an intended release in 2017.
— The photo above shows Rooney Mara playing Tiger Lily in Joe Wright’s Pan.