You know who got a bum rap in The Bible? Pontius Pilate. Guy was just doing his job when Joshua of Nazareth (AKA Jesus Christ) showed up on his doorstep. Granted, he did send the man to die a horrifyingly painful death, but he washed his hands and gave the crowd the chance to free the man who claimed to be the Son of God. At least he’s not Judas.
He’s definitely vilified though, and a new project at Warners seeks to complicate the character a bit more. According to Deadline Hollywood, the studio has secured a script called Pontius Pilate from Vera Blasi (Tortilla Soup, Woman On Top).
It seems like studios are finding their religion lately. A flood of projects led by Darren Aronofsky’s Noah is coming down the pipe, as the Deadline article smartly points out. The real question is whether the religious community will rally around them or condemn them. Aronofsky’s tale seems harmlessly epic, but Paul Verhoeven’s forthcoming examination of Jesus which removes his miracles in favor of his teachings could be seen as full-on blasphemy. At any rate, it seems like many of the major studios are preparing to get Old Testament on all of us. Beyond that context, a story about Pilate could be complex and compelling. He’s a figure known for one moment in his life, but he was also a human being at the center of a religious and socio-political powder keg. He had a bizarre bird’s eye view, and exploring things through his vision could make for a fantastic, intimate, challenging film.