Brad Pitt circling Warner Bros' Pontius Pilate


Definitely Not 40
Apr 4, 2004
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Brad Pitt Circling Biblical Epic Villain Turn In ‘Pontius Pilate’ At Warner Bros

EXCLUSIVE: Brad Pitt is circling the title role in Warner Bros’ Pontius Pilate, the drama about one of history’s most vilified figures. The studio acquired a script by Woman On Top scribe Vera Blasi with Mark Johnson producing through his Gran Via banner. Pitt is not committed, but it could well move that way quickly.

I revealed this project last summer, when the studio acquired Blasi’s script. I got hold of a draft and it’s very strong stuff and has the makings of a compelling period big budget film. This script follows the evolution of Lucius Pontius Pilate from the sensitive son of a Roman Knight into a ferocious soldier whose warrior exploits make him a general and puts him on a political track under the Roman Emperor Tiberius. Promised a military governorship in Egypt, Pilate is instead assigned by Tiberius to become the prefect of Judea, at a time when Jerusalem was a cauldron of religious tensions between various factions of the Jewish faith. Pilate veers from the political fast track into the express lane to hell and historical infamy. Rather than a straight ahead Biblical film, Blasi’s script reads almost like a Biblical era Twilight Zone episode in which a proud, capable Roman soldier gets in way over his head. His arrogance and inability to grasp the devoutness of the citizenry and its hatred for the Roman occupiers and their pagan gods leads him to make catastrophic decisions. All of this puts him in a desperate situation and in need of public approval when he is asked to decide the fate of a 33-year old rabbi accused by religious elders of claiming he is King of the Jews. Along the way, such Roman emperors including Caligula and Tiberius and New Testament figures like John the Baptist, Salome and Mary Magdalene are seen in a tale that culminates with Pilate’s fateful decision to allow Jesus Christ to be crucified.

It is hard to put a new spin on the Greatest Story Ever Told, but the script had the twists and unexpected turns that satisfyingly combine history, political maneuvering and storytelling inventions reminiscent of such films as Braveheart and Gladiator. Blasi has also taken the care to explain the motivations of religious leaders like the Jewish high priest Caiaphas (who engineers Christ’s demise) as these leaders tried to bring varying religious sects under one roof, and the script doesn’t have the polarizing chill some felt in The Passion of the Christ.

Pitt has a busy dance card of films he has completed. They include the Marc Forster-directed zombie extravaganza World War Z, the Steve McQueen-directed Twelve Years A Slave, and the Ridley Scott-directed The Counselor, the latter of which was scripted by Cormac McCarthy. He’s repped by CAA and Brillstein.
This could be something worth checking out.
should title it Pontius Pilate:Jesus Killer

loved to see reaction lol
A bio of Pontius Pilate would be controversial either way.

Brad Pitt as Pilate? Um, okay.

I hope it doesn't make him a caricaturish "villain".
i am excited tho script must be good brad rarely ever does bad movies
Eric Bana should play Jesus, just so Brad can kill him once more in a period setting.
I'd like to see what he does with the character.

This sounds really interesting and I love Brad Pitt... but it's hard to see him in this role. Maybe he can pull it off though.
This sounds good and different.
Sweet Chariot! MGM is Rebooting ‘Ben-Hur’

EXCLUSIVE: What a difference $2 billion in late fall box office business has done for MGM‘s ambitions. The studio is planning to unleash a new version of Ben-Hur, based on the 1880 Lew Wallace novel Ben-Hur: A Tale Of The Christ, which outsold every book but The Bible until it was eclipsed by Gone With The Wind.

MGM, which emerged from bankruptcy and is raising new funding after Skyfall crossed $1 billion worldwide gross and The Hobbit heads to the $900 million mark, is buying a Ben-Hur spec by Keith Clarke (he scripted the Peter Weir-directed The Way Back), and the package comes with Sean Daniel and Joni Levin attached to produce, and Clarke and Jason Brown exec producing.

MGM actually released the 1959 Charlton Heston-starrer Ben-Hur, as well as the 1925 silent film Ben-Hur: A Tale Of The Christ. The studio isn’t looting its library titles: MGM, which has seen many of its assets pillaged during previous ownership regimes, sold the Heston film to Ted Turner in the 1980s. But the book is public domain. MGM, now steered by Gary Barber and production president Jonathan Glickman and taking on action adventure films that include Hercules with Dwayne Johnson, just loved a spec that is faithful to the book and is much different than the 1959 William Wyler film that focused on the adult blood feud between Judah Ben-Hur (Heston) and Messala (Stephen Boyd).

This film will tell the formative story of the characters as they grew up best friends before the Roman Empire took control of Jerusalem. Judah Ben-Hur was a Jewish prince and Messala the son of a Roman tax collector. After the latter leaves to be educated in Rome for five years, the young man returns with a different attitude. Messala mocks Judah and his religion and when a procession passes by Judah’s house and a roof tile accidentally falls and hits the governor, Messala betrays his childhood friend and manipulates it so that Judah is sold into slavery and certain death on a Roman warship, with his mother and sister thrown in prison for life.

Judah doesn’t die, and vows revenge on Messala which, like in the films, culminates in the famed chariot races. There is another way the script differs from the movie, in that it will tell the parallel tale of Jesus Christ, with whom Ben-Hur has several encounters which moves him to become a believer in the Messiah, and which culminates in Christ being sentenced to death by Pontius Pilate. Intertwined in all this is the lifelong struggle between Ben-Hur and Messala.

The depiction of Jesus Christ as an occasional character in the script puts this project squarely in the mix of Biblical-themed films that are proliferating at studios around town. They include Pontius Pilate, which now has Brad Pitt attached to the Vera Blasi-scripted Warner Bros project; two films about Moses that Steven Spielberg and Ridley Scott are separately circling; and the Darren Aronofsky-directed Noah, which stars Russell Crowe.

“It’s one of the great stories of friendship and betrayal, and faith, that works in the context of a big onscreen action thriller for a global audience,” Daniel said of the Wallace novel.
Convenient timing...
It's all part of the "Bible movie boom" that Hollywood is currently pretending is going to be popular.
It will be. :argh:

.... maybe.
Well they do seem to be essentially removing any of the actual orthodoxy from the things to make them more appealing. I mean from a fundamentalist Christian perspective Pontius Pilate is one step down from Judas Iscariot and undoubtedly festering in hell as we speak. No attempt to humanize him would be done if various Baptist ministers I have met would have their way.

On the other hand I've seen churches do plays involving a fictional Barabbas becoming a Christian after realizing Jesus died in his place so maybe it is appealing to the mainstream Christians.

The real money would be to have some feel-good ending where Pontius Pilate pulls a Schindler's List and spends the rest of his life saving Christians from Gladiatorial arena lion shows or what have you. People would eat that right up.
Mel Gibson surprisingly did not demonize Pilate in The Passion at all, and the movie was better for it.

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