Ben Kingsley Considering A Role In Mary Mother Of Christ

Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ was so successful it's amazing that nobody has thought to make a sequel to it before, but now it would appear that a prequel is getting into full swing and its even courting its first Oscar winner. Sources close to the production are saying that Sir Ben Kingsley is currently circling the upcoming film Mary Mother of Christ, which is being directed by Australian filmmaker Alister Grierson.

Should Kingsley sign on The Wrap says that he would play the role of King Herod, who will be the villain in the story as Mary defies him in order to project her son, Jesus. The script was written by Benedict Fitzgerald (who co-wrote The Passion of the Christ with Gibson) and Barbara Nicolosi, and the cast already includes Odeya Rush (The Odd Life of Timothy Green) as Mary, Peter O'Toole as Symeon, and Julia Ormond as Mary's cousin, Elizabeth. The producers are also said to be interested in casting both Dame Judi Dench and Hugh Bonneville as Anna the Prophetess and Satan, respectively. Joel Osteen, a televangelist from Texas, is serving as an executive producer on the project, along with Mary Aloe of Aloe Entertainment and Shawn Williamson of Bright Light Pictures as producers. It doesn't seem that Gibson is involved in any way.

The Passion of the Christ made $370 million domestically on a $30 million budget and $241 million overseas. Lionsgate has signed on to distribute the film, but the latest report doesn't mention when the project will go into production or when they are targeting the movie for release.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.