Warner Bros. Develops 'Gladiator'-ish Movie About Pontius Pilate

Warner Bros. Develops 'Gladiator'-ish Movie About Pontius Pilate

Acquiring the script from Vera Blasi, the studio moves forward to make a religious epic film about the Roman Prefect who was responsible for Jesus' crucifixion.
A biblical movie about Pontius Pilate is officially in the works at Warner Bros. Pictures. The studio has obtained a script about "one of the most vilified figures in history" written by "Woman on Top" scribe Vera Blasi.

According to Deadline, the script of "Pontius Pilate" is presented in the vein of "Braveheart" and "Gladiator". It has the twists and unexpected turns that combine history, political maneuvering and storytelling inventions.

It follows Pilate's evolution from the sensitive son of a Roman Knight into a ferocious soldier who later becomes the fifth Prefect of the Roman province of Judaea. He was infamously known as the judge who presided over the trial of Jesus Christ and authorized his crucifixion.

Instead of presenting a straight-ahead biblical story, Blasi's script describes Pilate as a "proud, capable Roman soldier" whose "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" to allow Jesus to be crucified.

Explaining how she created her version of Pilate story, Blasi said, "You have the available facts from Roman and Jewish history books and the four gospels, and then you are left to speculate, to interpret the character of Pilate and give him a dilemma."

"He seemed a great way to offer context to this very famous event, and if you look at it from the perspective of the Roman governor of that time, it allows for an investigation of the politics of Judea at the time, and what it was like to be occupied by Rome," she continued.

The "Pontius Pilate" project will be produced by Mark Johnson through his Gran Via banner. It is said that the studio has already been approaching some directors to helm the epic film.

Aside from the Pilate pic, Warners has some religion-based movie projects. They include an untitled Judah Maccabee project, Mel Gibson's controversial project about one of the greatest warriors in Jewish history, and "Gods and Kings", a film about Moses which Steven Spielberg is interested to direct.

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