Pontius Pilate

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Pontius Pilate, like Benedict Arnold after him, lived in a time of great political and social unrest. Big things were happening, many sides were battling against each other, feelings were running deep, and tempers were flaring. Each was faced with a fateful decision that forced them to choose which side to come down on, which warring faction to appease, and in the end the decisions they made were so poor that they didn’t just make them failures or losers, they made them into history’s most despised villains, the sorts of names who will never be forgotten due to their infamy. Bad for a guy like Pontius Pilate, sure, but a dissection of the political and religious turmoil that led to his decision of whether or not to authorize the crucifixion of Jesus Christ sounds like it could make for a really good movie. Or, at least, that’s what Warner Bros has been hoping ever since they bought Vera Blasi’s script for the period drama Pontius Pilate. By all accounts Blasi’s script is rich, complicated, and full of character, which would suggest the title role is going to require not a movie star like most big budget period pics, but a real actor capable of giving a rich, nuanced performance. The good news for Pontius Pilate is that it looks like it might be getting both.


Ecce Homo

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 […]

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published: 01.26.2015
B-, C-
published: 01.26.2015
published: 01.26.2015

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