It's worth reading FilmForce's article in full, so I'll not cut and paste lots of quotes from it here, but there were a couple of things I was pleased to read. Firstly,
First, her father arranges for her betrothal to an older, shy carpenter named Joseph. In accordance with Hebrew law, Mary is now Joseph's wife in all ways except for that which leads to family (they must wait another year).The article also notes how Mary "hardly knows" Joseph at the point of their betrothal. It very interesting that the film is going to give a lot of the historical context that is usually missed out from movie versions of the nativity story. Mary and Joseph's was most likely an arranged marriage and it's good to see a film reflect that. Not only that but the ceremony, and the precise meaning of betrothal is noticeably different from how marriage takes place in today's western world. It will be interesting to see the reaction of the townspeople to Mary's pregnancy. Will they assume that Joseph is the father or someone else? It's also nice to see Joseph described as "a blue collar laborer" (although one assumes not literally - after all this is not Goddard's Hail Mary). However, I'm not sure whether this is screen writer Mike Rich's wording, or whether the phrase belongs to FilmForce's Stax.
Secondly, we already knew that this film was going to depict a young Mary because Whale Rider's Keisha Castle-Hughes has been chosen to play Mary. FilmForce specifies that Mary is only "a fifteen-year-old" at the time of the story.
On the downside it appears that we're still going to get the traditional three wise men, (who are named Melchior, Gaspar and Balthasar as well). I'd have really liked to see something different done with this part of the text. Still, Stax notes that their ""mission" is also followed throughout the story", so perhaps we will at least see them portrayed as magi-astrologers, rather than the more usual beard-stroking ponders of other Jesus films.
Finally a word on casting. In addition to Castle-Hughes, it's been confirmed that Shohreh Aghdashloo (House of Sand and Fog) and Shaun Toub (Crash) will play Mary's mother and father Anna and Joaquim. Jeffrey Overstreet also noted last month that "Ciaran Hinds will play King Herod and Oscar Isaac will play Joseph".
All in all thought this project is still sounding exciting. FilmForce notes that the "details about life in Judea under his rule added an extra dimension to Nativity", and the few pieces of information I've read have, on the whole, made me excited about how this film will turn out.
Labels: Nativity - Mary Joseph