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Chiwetel Ejiofor to Play Peter the Apostle in ‘Mary Magdalene’

Chiwetel Ejiofor is in talks to play Peter the Apostle in the Weinstein’s Company and See Saw Pictures’ “Mary Magdalene,” sources confirmed to Variety.

Rooney Mara is set to star in the title role with Joaquin Phoenix playing Jesus Christ.

Garth Davis will direct the pic from a script by Helen Edmundson and Philippa Goslett. Production is set to begin this summer for a 2017 release. See Saw’s Iain Canning and Emile Sherman will produce.

Film4 is co-developing the project with See Saw.

Ejiofor will play Peter, one of Jesus’ 12 apostles and his lead disciple. According to the New Testament, Peter was originally a fisherman and was with Jesus during key events only witnessed by a few apostles. He famously denied Jesus three times, and was forgiven after the Resurrection. Peter is believed to have been crucified in Rome under Emperor Nero Augustus Caesar, crucified upside down at his own request, believing himself unworthy to be crucified upright as Jesus was.

Ejiofor has already had a busy year on screen, appearing in four films including the Oscar-nominated “The Martian,” STX’s thriller “Secret in Their Eyes,” “Triple Nine” and “Z for Zachariah.”

He can be seen next in Marvel’s “Doctor Strange.” He is repped by CAA and Markham, Froggatt and Irwin. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

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