New Line Cinema is venturing into Biblical territory with "Nativity," a baby Jesus prequel, to star "Whale Rider" ingenue Keisha Castle-Hughes.
"Nativity" will serve as a pre-story to the oh-so-familiar birth of baby Jesus scenario that adorns church yards and mantlepieces everywhere each Christmas season. Castle-Hughes will star as a young Virgin Mary, while "Thirteen" helmer Catherine Hardwicke will direct.
From the Hollywood Reporter: "The story, to be told with a strong female perspective, will follow Mary and Joseph’s life before the birth of Christ as their love, faith and beliefs are tested.
Toby Emmerich, Cale Boyter and Michael Disco are overseeing the project, which will begin shooting on May 1 in Morocco and Italy. The studio is eyeing a Dec. 1 release."