Stax here with my reaction to the screenplay for Nativity! This March 2006 draft was penned by Mike Rich (The Rookie). Catherine Hardwicke (thirteen) is directing for New Line Cinema. Oscar nominees Keisha Castle-Hughes and Shohreh Aghdashloo star. IGN FilmForce has confirmed via his reps that Shaun Toub (Crash) has been cast as Mary's father, Joaquim. Nativity is now shooting in Morocco and Italy for a December release.
Drawing largely upon the Gospels, Mike Rich's script documents the life of Mary (Castle-Hughes), a simple but virtuous adolescent who is chosen by God to be the mother of Jesus Christ. The script establishes Mary's life in the small Judean town of Nazareth as one of poverty and oppression under the rule of King Herod, a vicious tyrant and pawn of the Roman Empire who is increasingly paranoid about his hold on power (and with good reason, as it turns out).
Mary lives a meager life with her mother Anna and father Joaquim (Toub). Like their neighbors, they feel the yoke of oppression as Herod's tax collectors gouge the common people and his soldiers intimidate anyone they please. If a citizen can't pay Herod's men what they owe, their daughters can be taken away. Simply put, there is not much hope in Nazareth and no promise of a bright future for a girl like Mary.
Then two major things happen to Mary. First, her father arranges for her betrothal to an older, shy carpenter named Joseph. In accordance with Hebrew law, Mary is now Joseph's wife in all ways except for that which leads to family (they must wait another year). But that's nothing compared to what happens next. Mary is soon visited by the Angel Gabriel who informs her that God has chosen her to carry his son, the Messiah.
So a young virgin finds herself pregnant with the son of God. Who will believe her? Why was she chosen?
Interesting. I will be interested to see how this one develops.