James Faulkner, Jim Caviezel, Olivier Martinez, Joanne Whalley, and John Lynch are starring in historical drama “Paul, Apostle of Christ” with shooting starting in Malta, Variety has learned exclusively.
Sony Pictures is producing “Paul, Apostle of Christ” through its faith-based Affirm Films label. The movie is directed by Andrew Hyatt (“Full of Grace”) from his own screenplay. Producers are David Zelon (“Soul Surfer”) and T.J. Berden (“Full of Grace”).
The story covers Paul, portrayed by Faulkner, going from the most infamous persecutor of Christians to Jesus Christ’s most influential apostle. The movie will follow his last days awaiting execution by Emperor Nero in Rome under the watchful eye of Mauritius, Mamertine Prison’s ambitious prefect, who seeks to understand how this broken old man can pose such a threat.
Martinez is portraying the prefect. As his days grow shorter, Paul works from prison to further the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and embolden his followers to stand strong in their faith against Roman persecution.
“Next to Jesus, no one played a more central role in the growth of early church than the Apostle Paul,” said Affirm Films executive vice president Rich Peluso. “He wrote a vast swath of the New Testament and traveled more than 10,000 miles by foot to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Paul, who had been known as Saul of Tarses, was converted while traveling on the road from Jerusalem to Damascus on a mission to arrest Christians when the resurrected Jesus appeared to him and he was struck blind for three days, according to the Bible.
Berden added, “Paul changed from murdering Christians to becoming their unlikely leader. His life personifies ‘forgiveness,’ a concept that seems almost impossible today — but desperately needed. We at ODB Films are overjoyed to be working alongside Sony Affirm to share this much needed story with the world.”
Zelon worked with Caviezel on Affirm’s football drama “When the Game Stands Tall.” It’s the first Biblical role for Caviezel since 2004’s “The Passion of the Christ.”
The film is slated to release in 2018 through Affirm Films. See a first-look image of the movie above.
Faulkner starred in several episodes of “Game of Thrones” as Randyll Tarly, farther of Samwell Tarly, and portrayed Pope Sixtus IV in BBC’s “Da Vinci’s Demons” in 2013. Martinez starred in National Geographic Channel’s “Mars” last season, the History Channel miniseries “Texas Rising,” and the ABC series “Revenge.” Martinez is repped by APA, and David Unger at Three Six Zero.