‘Mary Magdalene’ Stars Rooney Mara and Joaquin Phoenix As Jesus, Is This The Right Choice? [Trailer]

by Jessica Lane

November 30, 2017

Photo by Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures releases their first official trailer for¬†‘Mary Magdalene’ starring the real-life couple Rooney Mara and Joaquin Pheonix. Mara stars as Mary Magdalene and Pheonix as Jesus and yet again, we’re left scratching our heads ūü§Ē. Why did Hollywood choose these actors to portray¬†biblical characters of Middle Eastern descent?

First, more about the movie…

The biblical film follows Jesus’s story through the eyes of Mary Magdalene, one of the more controversial figures in the bible. We know Magdalene as the “harlot” or prostitute Jesus¬†befriends, empowers and turns her life around. In the film,¬†Magdalene, despite her standing within the community, stands¬†up for women’s rights to lead within this new religious movement and challenges the disciples’ approach to segregating men and women .

Now, about this casting…

Are we at all surprised? Absolutely, not. The Ten Commandments starred¬†Charlton Heston¬†and more recently, Russell Crowe became Noah (Noah 2014) and Christian Bale became Moses (Exodus: Gods and Kings 2014). There’s a long legacy of Hollywood white-washing biblical characters, but in 2017, why aren’t we past this yet? At what point will Hollywood¬†recognize¬†all the bible¬†stories, we¬†hold dear, actually¬†took place in¬†the middle east and throughout¬†northern¬†Africa?

We spot a few, mainly non-speaking figures in the crowd, except for  Chiwetel Ejiofor (Peter). Check the trailer below and count how many people of color you see.


TELL US: Did they get this casting right?