Back in November when Nicolosi talked about a major star being interested in playing Herod, I must confess that I didn't take her that seriously. More fool me. According to Variety, it's Al Pacino.
Aloe Entertainment has put together its New Testament ensemble for Mary, Mother of Christ.The cast is impressive, although as Peter Chattaway puts it "it does not look like ethnic authenticity, of the sort that we saw in The Nativity Story (2006), will be one of this film's top priorities." But O'Toole, Pacino and Lange? (Incidentally Peter also points out that Pacino may also be playing Herod the Great's son, Antipas, in the forthcoming Salomaybe?.
Camilla Belle (10,000 BC) will star as the titular character and will be joined by Jonathan Rhys Meyers in the dual roles of Gabriel and Lucifer and Peter O'Toole as Symeon. Al Pacino and Jessica Lange are in talks to play Herod and Anna the Prophetess.
Mary Aloe is producing along with Dune Films (Hidalgo, Prince of Persia). Argentine helmer Alejandro Agresti (Valentin, The Lake House) is directing the film, which begins lensing in Morocco in May.
MGM plans to release the film wide in 2,000-plus theaters April 2, 2010, which coincides with Good Friday. Media 8 Entertainment will handle international sales and distribution for the film and will introduce the project at the European Film Market in Berlin.
Mike Dolan is exec producing.
There's more on this at The Hollywood Reporter, Looking Closer, and Nicolosi's Church of the Masses blog. The latest piece there on this film is one denying all connection with the YouTube trailer posted at the National Catholic Register.