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Mary, Mother of Christ

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Room at MGM inn for 'Myriam'
MGM has acquired North American distribution rights to "Myriam, Mother of the Christ," the biblical story of Mary. The screenplay is written by Benedict Fitzgerald, who penned "The Passion of the Christ."
Hollywood Reporter, January 23

- - -

My first reaction.

Links to threads on The Passion of the Christ and Wise Blood, the screenplays of which Fitzgerald also (co-)wrote. (We also have a thread on the book version of Wise Blood.)

Interestingly, one of the four producers attached to this film has worked on a couple of Mormon movies. Edited by Peter T Chattaway

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Barbara Nicolosi:
I have so many things I am dying to blog about . . . My thoughts on the script Myriam which I worked on as the co-writer for many months . . .
Aha! This explains her hostility to The Nativity Story -- it was competition! wink.gif

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Barb Nicolosi has just finished "probably the fifth version of the rewrite" of this film's script, and she links to the film's IMDB page, which indicates the film is apparently now called Mary, Mother of the Christ, rather than Myriam, Mother of the Christ. We'll see which title it ends up having, if and when it is actually filmed.

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Barbara Nicolosi:
We have a major star who is interested in playing Herod the Great in the movie I co-wrote "Mary, Mother of the Christ. Said star has asked for a little beefing up of the role of Herod in the movie, and came up with the intriguing idea of having the terrible king show up at the scene of the slaughter of the innocents, and then make a speech to one of the dead babies.

Needless to say, it is rather where I am living these days and all I can do not to have Herod say, "Hell, I don't know if this was wrong. It's above my paygrade." . . .

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Peter, do you have any thoughts on this kind of imaginative tinkering with the gospel narratives?

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MLeary wrote:
: Peter, do you have any thoughts on this kind of imaginative tinkering with the gospel narratives?

Giving an extra scene to Herod, you mean? Not really -- not yet. It depends on what they do with it. I think it highly unlikely that Herod would have gone to Bethlehem personally to check out the slaughter, much less that he would have talked to one of the corpses there. But I have nothing against such poetic license, or dramatic embellishments, in principle.

Matters may be complicated here by the fact that this movie will apparently be primarily about Mary, not Jesus, so it may be even more likely than other biblical films to incorporate material that is somewhat "apocryphal" yet has a certain quasi-traditional cachet. (In my church, for example, we just celebrated the Feast of the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple, which commemorates an event in Mary's life that we get from the Infancy Gospel of James. It is considered one of the 12 Great Feasts of the Orthodox Church, along with the Feasts of the Ascension, the Nativity, and so forth, even though some Orthodox, such as myself, have doubts about the historicity of the event that this particular feast commemorates.) (Side note: Easter, or Pascha as we call it, is not one of the 12 Great Feasts. It is such an awesome thing that it is in a class all its own.)

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QUOTE (Peter T Chattaway @ Nov 23 2008, 09:12 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Matters may be complicated here by the fact that this movie will apparently be primarily about Mary, not Jesus, so it may be even more likely than other biblical films to incorporate material that is somewhat "apocryphal" yet has a certain quasi-traditional cachet.


Which is, as you say, fine in principle. I just can't help but shake the irony that here is Nicolosi sitting down and writing up a narrative to flesh out a gospel storyline - which is exactly what happened in some aprocryphal books in the 2nd century.

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Barbara Nicolosi:
The other movie, Mary, Mother of the Christ is going ahead in a very graced way. The financing seems to have come together in the last week. A director is attached and it's out to talent and a shooting date is on the calendar for March. Please do keep the progress of this project in your prayers.

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Casting news here. First, brief, and mainly trivial knee-jerk impressions here.

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Please be better than The Nativity Story.

Please prevent Pacino from yelling a lot.

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Overstreet wrote:
: Please be better than The Nativity Story.

I have to say, my hopes are not very high in that department.

I very much appreciated The Nativity Story's quest for authenticity, in the casting of a teenaged girl as Mary and in the casting of an "ethnically accurate (or as accurate-seeming as possible)" set of actors in all the major roles. But any movie that casts Peter O'Toole and Jessica Lange as Simeon and Anna is clearly NOT interested in that kind of "authenticity".

And the fact that Camilla Belle is already 22 (and will be 23 when the film comes out next year) is kind of a stroke against the film, as well. Mary has been played by older actresses in the past, but usually, in those cases, the actress in question was playing Mary at BOTH ends of Jesus' life and not just at the beginning, so I guess you have to allow for some leeway there. Of those actresses who were playing the young Mary ONLY, and whose ages I have been able to verify, we have:
  • Ben-Hur (Dec 1925) -- Betty Bronson, 19 (b. November 17 1906)
  • The Nativity (Dec 1978) -- Madeleine Stowe, 20 (August 18 1958)
  • Mary and Joseph: A Story of Faith (Dec 1979) -- Blanche Baker, 22 (December 20 1956)
  • Je vous salue, Marie (Jan 1985) -- Myriem Roussel, 22 (February 26 1962)
  • Mary, Mother of Jesus (Nov 1999) -- Melinda Kinnaman, 28 (November 9 1971)
  • The Nativity Story (Dec 2006) -- Keisha Castle-Hughes, 16 (March 24 1990)
So all of these young-Mary-only actresses were younger at the premieres of their films than Belle will be at the premiere of hers, with the single exception of Kinnaman ... but in her case, she was 28 and the actress who took over as the old Mary was 41, even though the character was supposed to be over 30 years older by that point in the film (or 25 years older, since that was the age of Christian Bale when he played Jesus in that film). So the age thing was kind of wonky in that film to begin with. In any case, that was only a TV-movie, and probably not one of the better-respected Jesus movies out there to begin with.

So. Anyway. This is beginning to smell like a straight-to-DVD kind of thing, to me. But I would love to be very, very wrong about that.

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Hmm, wish I had read this before I made my blog post about a BBC radio 4 programme featuring Nicolosi which calls the (a?) film Mary the mother of God leading me to sort a load of labels with that name which I've just had to undo!

But Pacino. Pacino? Surely that's good news?

Matt

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QUOTE
But Pacino. Pacino? Surely that's good news?


Good news for the film getting press.

But unless Alejandro Agresti knows how to restrain him, he'll assume that his lines are printed in ALL CAPS, we'll end up with a Herod who shouts "KILL THE BABIES! KILL THEM!!" Edited by Overstreet

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QUOTE (Overstreet @ Feb 6 2009, 02:43 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
But unless Alejandro Agresti knows how to restrain him, he'll assume that his lines are printed in ALL CAPS, we'll end up with a Herod who shouts hysterically.


You know how ridiculous Pacino looks in ALL CAPS mode? That is pretty much how I have always imagined Herod in his daily routine. Sure, he ingratiated himself to Rome, which means he must have had at least a few social graces. But otherwise, he was very paranoid, violent, and prone to snap judgements like: Kill all the babies!

But then this idea of Pacino delivering a soliloquy to one of the dead babies, as reported earlier by Nicolosi, undercuts the possibility that this Herod will be anything other than an Asterix and Obelisk figure.

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...he was very paranoid, violent, and prone to snap judgements like: Kill all the babies!


And this is why it *shouldn't* be Pacino. Pacino's become a self-parody with all of the shouting. Find another actor who can get hysterical without making the audience laugh.

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QUOTE (Overstreet @ Feb 6 2009, 01:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE
...he was very paranoid, violent, and prone to snap judgements like: Kill all the babies!


And this is why it *shouldn't* be Pacino. Pacino's become a self-parody with all of the shouting. Find another actor who can get hysterical without making the audience laugh.


But Sam Kinison is already dead!

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biggrin.gif

How about Animal from the Muppets?

Or Russell Crowe: "Unleash hell!" Edited by Overstreet

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QUOTE (Overstreet @ Feb 6 2009, 02:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
And this is why it *shouldn't* be Pacino. Pacino's become a self-parody with all of the shouting. Find another actor who can get hysterical without making the audience laugh.
Sean Penn in Mystic River has made me laugh. But he lacks gravitas.

ETA: Come to think of it, Ben Kingsley sooooo utterly rocked in House of Sand and Fog, especially with his outraged scene. In an instant, despite knowing full well that this was the mechanisms of a screenplay machine at work, I was driven to tears. He'd be my pick. Edited by Nick Alexander

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QUOTE (Overstreet @ Feb 6 2009, 03:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE
...he was very paranoid, violent, and prone to snap judgements like: Kill all the babies!


And this is why it *shouldn't* be Pacino. Pacino's become a self-parody with all of the shouting. Find another actor who can get hysterical without making the audience laugh.


Hence the Asterix and Obelix comparison. He looks kind of like Dustin Hoffman:

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QUOTE (Buckeye Jones @ Feb 6 2009, 01:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (Overstreet @ Feb 6 2009, 01:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE
...he was very paranoid, violent, and prone to snap judgements like: Kill all the babies!


And this is why it *shouldn't* be Pacino. Pacino's become a self-parody with all of the shouting. Find another actor who can get hysterical without making the audience laugh.


But Sam Kinison is already dead!



I was going to say Samuel L. Jackson...but that is a way funnier response.

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MLeary wrote:
: But otherwise, he was very paranoid, violent, and prone to snap judgements like: Kill all the babies!

Hoo-ah!

MattPage wrote:
: But Pacino. Pacino? Surely that's good news?

I dunno. He had The Merchant of Venice five years ago, and Insomnia two years before that, but nothing else he's done in the past decade has gotten much love or respect (at least on the big screen). This past year alone, he starred in two cop movies that were widely panned (I still haven't seen either of them).

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Folks, I was out of line in my rather snide comment about Nicolosi earlier. My apologies to you and to Barbara. I've gone back and cut that comment.

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I, for one, would love to hear Pacino yell, "It's above my paygrade!" Now that I know which actor she was thinking of when she wrote that blog post, I mean. smile.gif

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QUOTE (Peter T Chattaway @ Feb 5 2009, 11:19 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Casting news here. First, brief, and mainly trivial knee-jerk impressions here.


"Jonathan Rhys Meyers who will play the dual roles of Gabriel and Lucifer. "

Because good and evil are really only two sides of the same thing. Sort of like the Force. Hello to the Gnosticism!

Or maybe because all angels look alike? Hello to Dr. Who Christmas episode... Edited by BethR

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QUOTE (Peter T Chattaway @ Feb 6 2009, 06:57 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I, for one, would love to hear Pacino yell, "It's above my paygrade!" Now that I know which actor she was thinking of when she wrote that blog post, I mean. smile.gif



I don't know...I am not crazy about shoehorning criticisms of modern political figures into stories relating to Christian history. No matter how clever the writer feels it makes them, it feels cheap...crass.

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