Paul Verhoeven to Adapt Controversial Book 'Jesus of Nazareth' to the Big Screen

Paul Verhoeven to Adapt Controversial Book 'Jesus of Nazareth' to the Big Screen

The original 'RoboCop' helmer, who also wrote the book, has tapped Oscar winner Roger Avary to pen the script which centers on the denial that Jesus is a real Mesiah.
While Darren Aronofsky gets ready to film "Noah" and Ridley Scott as well as Steven Spielberg plan each of their Moses films, filmmaker Paul Verhoeven is preparing to make a feature film about Jesus Christ. The planned biblical film will be based on Verhoeven's controversial book "Jesus of Nazareth".

According to Deadline, Verhoeven, who helmed the original "RoboCop", was backed by Chris Hanley who will finance the ambitious project. The script, meanwhile, will be provided by Roger Avary, who won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay thanks to his work in Quentin Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction".

Verhoeven claimed that he wrote "Jesus of Nazareth" after immersing himself in the history and researching about the life of Jesus Christ. In the book, however, the Dutch filmmaker discounted all of the miracles that inform the New Testament including the immaculate conception and the resurrection.

The book sparked a controversy because it claimed that Jesus might have been the product of Mary who was raped by a Roman soldier. It also stated that Jesus was a radical prophet who "performed exorcisms and was convinced he would find the kingdom of Heaven on earth, and did not know he would be sentenced to die on the cross by Pontius Pilate."

Explaining his controversial point of view to Deadline back in 2011, Vergoeven said, "If you look at the man, it's clear you have a person who was completely innovative in the field of ethics."

"My own passion for Jesus came when I started to realize that. It's not about miracles, it's about a new set of ethics, an openness towards the world, which was anathema in a Roman-dominated world," he added. "I believe he was crucified because they felt that politically, he was a dangerous person whose following was getting bigger and bigger."

"Jesus' ideals are about the utopia of human behavior, about how we should treat each other, how we should step into the shoes of our enemy."

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