Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Rooney Mara in talks for Mary Magdalene biopic

Biblical figure Mary Magdalene was one of controversy even before she was portrayed in movies such as The Last Temptation Of Christ (1988). Now news arrives via Screen International that she is set to be the focus of a new biopic, with Rooney Mara (Carol) in talks to take the lead.

Garth Davis (Top Of The Lake) is directing this one, with a script written by Helen Edmundson (An Inspector Calls) and Philippa Goslett (Little Ashes). There is no indication yet as to how she will be portrayed – her reputation as a repentant prostitute is not supported by the Gospels, so we will have to wait and see what story this new film will tell. But it comes from producers Iain Canning and Emile Sherman (The King's Speech), so we would expect prestige over pulp. Still, the casting has already drawn criticism given Magdalene's background is Jewish and Middle Eastern, and the choice of Mara as Tiger Lily in Pan (2015) led to some consternation.

"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," says Davis. "Having worked with Rooney on Lion, I know she is a once in a lifetime talent."

Mara will also be seen in Terrence Malick's (The Tree Of life) untitled new film and is voicing a character in Laika's latest, Kubo And The Two Strings, due here on 9 September.

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