I scanned this Variety article in vain, looking for some mention that Cecil B. DeMille had arisen from the grave purely to revive bombastic Biblical epics. But no. Nor is it April 1, so this has to be legitimate, as unlikely as it seems.

Apparently, Aloe Films is producing a film called Mary, Mother of Christ with Camilla Belle in the title role. But it's the rest of the cast and characters that sends this into truly "Whoa, really?" land. Jonathan Rhys-Meyers is signed to play the duel roles of Gabriel and Lucifer, while Peter O'Toole will be playing Symeon. Currently in talks to join in are Al Pacino and Jessica Lange, who are interested in playing King Herod and Anna the Prophetess.

Start to think that over in your mind -- the crazy eyed Rhys Meyers as archangel and devil, and Al Pacino as King Herod. That's like John Wayne /Greatest Story Ever Told territory, and will either end up cinematic gold or mocked on YouTube.

The film will be helmed not by a resurrected DeMille, but by Alejandro Agresti, and it's currently aiming for a April 2, 2010 release which will coincide with Good Friday, making it one of those event films on par with The Passion of the Christ or The Nativity Story.

I don't mean to sound snarky at all, though I wince at the political and religious frenzy that seems to surround such releases. I'm merely surprised at the level of talent that's attached to this, yet it warranted such a whispery mention in Variety -- it's almost like they can't quite believe it either.