Los Angeles - Joaquin Phoenix is being lined up to play Jesus Christ in Mary Magdalene.
The Walk the Line actor is said to be top of the list of stars wanted to take on the role of the religious figure, but the deal is still "some way off" being completed.
That is according to Deadline, who report director Garth Davis is keen on the 41-year-old actor but there could be a concern about scheduling.
If Phoenix does sign up for the movie then he will star alongside Rooney Mara, who is set to play the titular character.
Mary Magdalene was a follower of Jesus Christ who as a repent sinner was saved by the Christian Saviour, who is considered to be the Son of God by followers of the faith.
In Western Christianity Mary has often been depicted as a prostitute but although she is named in all four gospels in the New Testament she is never referenced as a lady of the night.
Helen Edmundson and Philippa Goslett have written the script for the forthcoming film, which is set to be an "authentic and humanistic" depiction of the Biblical character.
Universal Pictures International Productions is partnering with See-Saw Films to produce the motion picture.
Mary Magdalene is set to go into production this summer and a release is expected sometime in 2017.
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