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Mary Magdalene feature set to film in Italy

Rooney MaraA major new feature film about the life of Mary Magdalene is set to shoot in Italy later this year with Rooney Mara in the title role.  

Joaquin Phoenix has been mooted to play Jesus Christ in the film, which is to be directed by Garth Davis (Top of the Lake) from a screenplay by Helen Edmundson and Philippa Goslett. The feature comes from See-Saw Films, which has offices in London and Paddington, New South Wales. 

See-Saw founders Emile Sherman and Iain Canning produce Mary Magdalene, which will explore the life of the spiritual figure who is said to have witnessed Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection but who later became regarded in certain cultures during the Middle Ages as a repentant prostitute. 

Exact locations in Italy have yet to be confirmed on the project, which is gearing up for an autumn shoot. Italy offers a national tax credit programme as well as a VAT exemption for international productions filming in the country. There are also regional funding options on offer which can be accessed via the Italian Film Commissions website. 

Recent prominent projects to have filmed in Italy include the big-screen remake of Ben-Hur, which shot at the legendary Cinecitta Studios in Rome and on location in Matera and Bari (Puglia) for six months in 2015. 

For more on filming in Italy, take a look at our Production Guide