Lionsgate has set David Heyman to produce and James Schamus to write the adaptation of Reza Aslan’s bestselling book “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth,” an individual familiar with the project tells TheWrap.
Aslan’s historical biography examines Jesus in a humanist rather than religious light, set against a tumultuous period in history when not only Jesus, but scores of other Jewish prophets, preachers and would-be messiahs wandered through the Holy Land, bearing messages from God.
“Reza Aslan has written a remarkable book that manages to bring the ancient world into contemporary relief and to make a timeless story very timely,” Erik Feig, Lionsgate Motion Picture Group’s President of Production, said in a statement. “We are excited to create this uniquely cinematic and immersive world for moviegoers to experience.”
Schamus, a frequent collaborator with director Ang Lee, previously wrote the screenplays of “The Ice Storm,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and “Hulk,” as well as the upcoming period fantasy, “The Sun and the Moon” starring Pierce Brosnan. Heyman is next producing YA adaptation “The Queen of the Tearling,” which has Emma Watson attached to star.