Australian director to helm Christ’s ‘prequel’ with faith-based marketing campaign

An Australian director is to helm a new project about the mother of Jesus, with a Texan pastor as executive producer and a marketing campaign targeting Christians.

Announced at Cannes Film Festival, Mary Mother of Christ will be directed by Sanctum and Kokoda’s Alister Grierson.

The film marks Grierson’s first non-Australian story, working from a script by Barbara Nicolosi and Benedict Fitzgerald who co-wrote the screenplay to Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ.

The film will have a faith-based marketing campaign in the US, according to Deadline, lead by Motive Entertainment who specialise in the faith market.

Motive were behind the marketing campaign of The Passion of the Christ which earned $125m in its opening five days and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe which grossed $1bn worldwide.

That marketing will also make use of EP and pastor of the Lakewood Church in Houston Texas, Joel Osteen.

The film is being billed as the prequel to The Passion of the Christ.

Mary Aloe of Aloe Entertainment and Shawn Williamson of Bright Light Pictures are producing.

Isreali actress Odeya Rush will play Mary, with Peter O’Toole as Symeon and Julia Ormond as Elizabeth.

IMDB reports the film is budgeted at an estimated $30m and due for release March 2013.

Distributed by Lionsgate in North America, Hyde Park is handling international sales at Cannes.


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