Actor Brad Pitt May Play Pontius Pilate in New Movie — the Man Who Authorized Jesus’ Crucifixion

Hollywood is embracing faith-based films of late — and considering the successes that low budget, church-produced features like “Courageous” have had, it’s no wonder Tinseltown is finally invoking more spiritual themes. A reboot of the evangelical “Left Behind” series is on the way and now there’s talk of actor Bratt Pitt potentially playing a sinister character in another film centered around a Biblical figure — Pontius Pilate.

A Yahoo! entertainment report claims that the actor is considering depicting the man who will forever be known as having convicted Jesus Christ to death, thus authorizing the Christian savior’s crucifixion. While Pitt has not yet accepted the role, Deadline reports that a deal could move swiftly if, indeed, he commits.

Actor Brad Pitt attends The Cinema Society with Men’s Health and DeLeon hosted screening of The Weinstein Company’s ‘Killing Them Softly’ on November 26, 2012 in New York City. Credit: Getty Images

When Yahoo! Movies reached out to Warner Bros., the company behind the “Pontius Pilate” project, staffers dismissed the Pitt story as a rumor and declined to comment. However, they did not entirely dismiss the possibility that he is in talks to take the role. If, indeed, the actor accepts, this would apparently be the first time that Pitt has played a sinister lead role in a major feature film.

Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr. claims to have viewed a draft of the script, offering up a relatively invigorating plot-line. Here’s how he describes what he’s seen so far:

…it’s very strong stuff and has the makings of a compelling period big budget film. This script follows the evolution of Lucius Pontius Pilate from the sensitive son of a Roman Knight into a ferocious soldier whose warrior exploits make him a general and puts him on a political track under the Roman Emperor Tiberius. Promised a military governorship in Egypt, Pilate is instead assigned by Tiberius to become the prefect of Judea, at a time when Jerusalem was a cauldron of religious tensions between various factions of the Jewish faith. Pilate veers from the political fast track into the express lane to hell and historical infamy. Rather than a straight ahead Biblical film, Blasi’s script reads almost like a Biblical era Twilight Zone episode in which a proud, capable Roman soldier gets in way over his head. His arrogance and inability to grasp the devoutness of the citizenry and its hatred for the Roman occupiers and their pagan gods leads him to make catastrophic decisions. All of this puts him in a desperate situation and in need of public approval when he is asked to decide the fate of a 33-year old rabbi accused by religious elders of claiming he is King of the Jews. Along the way, such Roman emperors including Caligula and Tiberius and New Testament figures like John the Baptist, Salome and Mary Magdalene are seen in a tale that culminates with Pilate’s fateful decision to allow Jesus Christ to be crucified.

Brad Pitt poses for a portrait to promote his film, “Killing Them Softly,” on Monday, Nov. 26, 2012 in New York. Credit: Victoria Will/Invision/AP

The Pontius Pilate script was written by Vera Blasi and the film will be produced by Mark Johnson. Blasi previously wrote the script for the film “Woman on Top” (2000).

Whether or not Pitt takes the gig, the film will certainly spark the interest of religious people and history buffs, alike.

(H/T: Yahoo! Movies)