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Pope Francis with director Martin Scorsese and his wife, Helen, at the Vatican in 2023 (CNS/Vatican Media)

Oscar winner Martin Scorsese has confirmed that a script for his new movie, A Life of Jesus, is now finished. Source: National Catholic Register.

In an interview with The Los Angeles Times in January, Scorsese said he co-wrote the screenplay with critic and filmmaker Kent Jones and plans to shoot it later this year. The film will be based on Shūsaku Endō’s book A Life of Jesus.

Scorsese said he envisions the film being about 80 minutes long, which would be one of his shortest films, and will focus on “Jesus’ core teachings in a way that explores the principles but doesn’t proselytise”.

“I’m trying to find a new way to make it more accessible and take away the negative onus of what has been associated with organised religion,” Scorsese said.

“Right now, ‘religion’ — you say that word and everyone is up in arms because it’s failed in so many ways,” he added. “But that doesn’t mean necessarily that the initial impulse was wrong. Let’s get back. Let’s just think about it.”

In an effort to not “be locked into a certain period,” the film will take place in the present day because the director wants “the film to feel timeless”, he explained.

The inspiration for the film came in May 2023 after Scorsese met Pope Francis at the Global Aesthetics of the Catholic Imagination, a conference that brought together artists and creatives from across the world. After this meeting, Scorsese said, “I have responded to the Pope’s appeal to artists in the only way I know how: by imagining and writing a screenplay for a film about Jesus.”

Catholicism and religious themes have played a role in some of Scorsese’s previous works such as Silence and the controversial 1988 film The Last Temptation of Christ.


Director Martin Scorsese Confirms Completion of Script for ‘A Life of Jesus’ (Francesca Pollio Fenton/CNA via National Catholic Register)