Pitt as Pontius Pilate?
The excitement is out there about Brad Pitt playing Pontius Pilate, no not the inventor of that exercise routine but the character from those well known books who ordered the crucifixion of the main character, Jesus Christ. Interestingly though the story looks set to mirror another biblical epic film, The Robe, and not tell any of the stories from the expected viewpoint.
Do bear in mind though that Brad Pitt has yet to say yes, although all signs are pointing towards his signing of the deal, it does sound like the negotiations are in a later stage.
The film is called Pontius Pilate and will focus solely on that character's story from beginning to end, crossing with characters many will already know and leading to, and passing through, the intersection with the story of Jesus Christ.
Vera Blasi has written the script that Deadline describes as following the life of Lucius Pontius Pilate from being the son of a Roman warrior to becoming a soldier who rises through the ranks to that of a General, gaining stature as he does turning him towards a more political role.
Tiberius, the Roman Emperor, assigns him to the role of Prefect of Judea to try and calm and control the people, particularly the people of Jerusalem where a swell of religious belief and political outspokenness threatens the Roman rule. Here he is pitted against opposing religious views, a people pushing against Roman rule, and the rise of the claimed King of the Jews, as well as meeting various historical figures and other major characters from the biblical tales.
This sounds a lot like one of my favourite films of the time, The Robe which starred the great Richard Burton where he plays a Roman soldier who is the epitome of such a character but reveals his compassion through caring for a slave and begins to find himself conflicted with his old way of life. He crosses paths with a more famous biblical character a number of times, hearing him speak, arriving after some major event and finally coming into possession of a robe he wore, a robe which pushes him to the edge and changes him forever.
It's a similar style where we follow a character on the periphery of another more famous story and I think it could turn out a really good film and a great role for Brad Pitt. What will be interesting though is the running time and how much of the story and the motivations they will be able to fit into such an epic themed film. Will we see a mammoth running time and is there likely to be controversy over the material and the portrayal of the characters? More to the point will it be a film to polarise audiences or will it manage to reach to both religious and entertainment seeking viewers?