Joaquin Phoenix Is Jesus in Moving First Trailer for 'Mary Magdalene'

Joaquin Phoenix
IFC Films/YouTube

The trailer teases a very familiar story, told from a fresh angle.

For their next film, Rooney Mara and Joaquin Phoenix are taking on one of the Bible’s most debated subjects -- Jesus Christ’s relationship with Mary Magdalene.

On Wednesday, IFC Films shared the first trailer for the film, titled Mary Magdalene, which vividly explores when the titular woman decides to follow the founder of Christianity. The imagery teases Magdalene turning down married life in favor of following Jesus. 

Phoenix, sporting a long beard and near-shoulder-length hair, is shown preaching on the river banks and later baptizing Magdalene. The film seemingly seeks to not only tell the story of Jesus Christ from Magdalene's perspective but also to offer that she played an important role in the story.

The trailer also hints at the unrest that Magdalene's presence creates among Jesus’ male followers, particularly Peter (Chiwetel Ejiofor).

“Will you join us, though they judge you, persecute you…you must forgive them,” Phoenix as Jesus tells Magdalene.

As the clip shows, the film follows Magdalene's story all the way to Jesus’ crucifixion and beyond. One moment seems to showcase the open tomb following Jesus’ resurrection.

“You love my son, don’t you?” Mary, Jesus' mother, asks Magdalene. After Magdalene says yes, Mary adds, “Then you must prepare yourself. For losing him.” 

Although the film was shot in 2016, it was caught amidst the collapse of The Weinstein Company and was recently acquired by IFC Films.

IFC Films

The film also stars Tahar Rahim, Denis Menochet and Ariane Labed. The film was directed by Gareth Davis (Lion) and written by Helen Edmundson and Philippa Goslett.

Since late 2016, when the project was filming in Rome and Southern Italy, Phoenix and Mara have been dating.

Mary Magdalene arrives in theaters on April 12 and will be available to stream on April 19.