Religious-themed pic costars Graham, Whitaker

PARIS — Juliette Binoche, Heather Graham, Forest Whitaker and Matthew Modine will star in Abel Ferrara’s religious-themed “Mary,” lensing in Rome.

Indie producer Fernando Sulichin’s new Gallic shingle Central Films is producing the pic, with financing from Italian investor Roberto DeNigris.

Paris-based indie film company Wild Bunch is handling international sales and will release the film in France under its recently acquired Pan Europeene distribution label.

Binoche plays an actress who becomes fascinated by Mary Magdalene after playing her in a film. Thesp’s obsession takes her from New York on a voyage of discovery to Rome and Jerusalem, where the film will shoot through the end of February.

Cast also includes Marion Cotillard and Gabriella Wright.

Script was co-written by Simone Lageoles and Massimo Cortesi.

Pic is the first production of Argentina-born indie film producer Sulichin’s Central Films, created two months ago.

Sulichin’s credits include “Alexander,” which he co-exec produced, Oliver Stone’s docu “Looking for Fidel” and Spike Lee’s “She Hate Me.”

Over the next year, Sulichin is looking to put another two movies into production via his French company. They are Tran Anh Hung’s “I Came With the Rain,” an English-language project about a serial killer, and “The Vacation,” a comedy to be helmed by Welsh director Kevin Allen that will star French comic Jose Garcia in his first English-lingo pic as a tourist lost in Alabama.

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