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Martin Scorsese’s Jesus Movie Details Revealed

Martin Scorsese’s Jesus Movie Details Revealed


  • Marton Scorsese’s Jesus film teased in excerpt from early screenplay drafts.
  • The draft teases a modern setting with biblical imagery, influenced by Pasolini’s neorealist style.
  • Early screenplay drafts show a focus on stark contrasts, dark visuals, and modern reinterpretations of religious iconography.

Details of Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese’s upcoming Jesus movie have now been revealed courtesy of a excerpt from Father Antonio Spadaro’s new book. Spadaro has been working as Scorsese’s consultant on the project, with the last chapter, “Screenplay for a Possible Film on Jesus,” revealing that the movie began as an idea to “make a film about Christ in the modern world, in modern clothes.” However, it sounds like things may have changed during the process of writing.

The text from an early draft of the screenplay (via Variety) can be seen below, and while this isn’t the script that Martin Scorsese will be working from, it certainly offers a lot of insight into the director’s intentions and approach.

“Let’s start immersed in the dark. A painted image of Jesus’ face suddenly lights up the frame… then, just as quickly, it disappears into the darkness again.

CUT to a series of images: a simple wooden cross hanging above a neatly made bed in the apartment of a popular tenement… church windows with scenes from the life of Jesus… a marble sculpture of Mary holding the body of Jesus in her arms… a small gold cross next to a popular image of Jesus praying towards heaven… a child sitting at a table looking into tall the cross next to complex colorful drawings for a fictional film titled “The Eternal City.”

More images of Jesus: other mass-produced family portraits, short moving images from “Intolerance,” the silent version of [Cecil B. DeMille film] “The King of Kings,” [Henry Koster’s Biblical epic] “The Robe” and the sound version of “King of Kings.””

Martin Scorsese’s Jesus Movie Is a Reflection on the Figure of Jesus & a Reflection on Cinema

The draft then alludes to making a movie about Jesus in the modern day before referencing the 1964 Italian neorealist biblical epic, The Gospel According to St. Matthew, from director Pier Paolo Pasolini. All of which provides at least some clue as to what Scorsese has in store. Maybe.

“VOICE: Like millions of other children around the world, I grew up surrounded by images of Jesus, all based on a common idea of his appearance and behavior: handsome, with wonderful long hair and beard, ascetic, pious…

A scene from Pasolini’s “The Gospel According to St. Matthew,” the sermon on the mountain.

VOICE: When the idea of making cinema started to become concrete, I had in mind to make a film about Christ in the modern world, in modern clothes, shot in 16mm and in black and white in the streets of New York, with apostles in suits and ties in old, peeling, weathered hallways, with the crucifixion set on the West Side piers and cops instead of centurions… my world. But then I saw Pasolini’s Christ. The setting wasn’t modern, but the feeling it conveyed was. There was the immediacy of Christ. Pasolini showed us a Jesus who was often heated and angry. Who fought… His film had made what I had in mind become quite superfluous, but it inspired me to keep going.””


Killers of the Flower Moon: Martin Scorsese Unveils What Makes Leonardo DiCaprio ‘One of the Greatest Actors’ In History

Martin Scorsese expressed gratitude for Leonardo DiCaprio’s unrivaled talent during his acceptance speech for Killers of the Flower Moon.

Scorsese met Father Antonio Spadaro at a conference in Rome titled “The Global Aesthetics of the Catholic Imagination,” where the director announced that he would respond to an appeal by Pope Francis to artists “in the only way I know how: by imagining and writing a screenplay for a film about Jesus.”

Spadaro offered more insight into the project, revealing that the movie is “not just a reflection on the figure of Jesus but also a reflection on his cinema.”

Martin Scorsese’s movie about Jesus is expected to film later this year.

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