Roger Avary to Adapt Paul Verhoeven’s Jesus of Nazareth

There’s some exciting news today for fans of Paul Verhoeven as Deadline reports that his feature film biopic of Jesus Christ may finally be moving forward. Chris Hanley of Muse Productions is said to be funding the feature’s development with Roger Avary (Pulp Fiction, The Rules of Attraction) attached to provide the screenplay.

A passion project of his for decades, Verhoeven released a book, “Jesus of Nazareth,” in 2010 that collected his years of research. In it, he attempts to construct a secular view of the religious icon. Deemed controversial by some, Verhoeven’s historical account paints Jesus not as the son of God, but as a remarkable, mortal thinker whose innovative principles are responsible for the creation and spread of Christianity.

Verhoeven himself has been relatively quiet the past few years, most recently releasing his Dutch project Black Book in 2006. Before that, his last project was 2000′s Hollow Man, though he’s still known for major blockbusters like RoboCop, Total Recall, Basic Instinct and Starship Troopers.

Avary, too, has been out of the Hollywood spotlight for a few years, last providing the screenplay to 2007′s Beowulf.

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