It doesn't get much bigger in Hollywood than rumors you're playing Jesus Christ. Martin Scorsese is apparently talking to actors Andrew Garfield and Miles Teller about starring in his upcoming Jesus biopic, though it's not known who is being targeted for the role of Jesus and who for one of the disciples.

Variety reports that filmmaking auteur Martin Scorsese is next looking to tackle the life and times of Jesus, in an independently financed adaptation of Shūsaku Endō’s 1973 book, A Life of Jesus.

Scorsese seems to be a big fan of the writings of Shūsaku Endō, who also wrote the novel that Scorsese's 2016 drama Silence is based on. Interestingly, that film was also independently financed outside of the studio system and also starred Andrew Garfield.

Shūsaku Endō is a revered Japanese writer who converted to Christianity as a boy and frequently wrote works with religious themes.

Book adaptations have worked out well for Scorsese of late. His 2023 film Killers of the Flower Moon, based on the acclaimed nonfiction account of the Osage murders by journalist David Grann, garnered 10 Academy Award nominations.

Production for the Jesus biopic is expected to start later this year. The plan was to shoot in Israel, Italy and Egypt, though Israel being at war with Hamas in Gaza could make filming there too dangerous.

The most famous cinematic depiction of Jesus Christ remains Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, though that film focused on Jesus' last days and was mired in controversy given that scholars found fault with the version Gibson presented on screen. Gibson's film also garnered criticism in light of antisemitic comments he made during a 2006 arrest, two years after The Passion of the Christ came out.

As the title of Endō's source material implies, this version would focus more on the life of Jesus. As Endō himself described the book, “This is the whole life of Jesus. It stands out clean and simple, like a single Chinese ideograph brushed on a blank sheet of paper. It was so clean and simple that no one could ever make sense of it, and no one could produce its like.”

Sounds like Scorsese shows no signs of slowing down or easing up in his filmmaking even at age 81. Directly after filming the Jesus project, he plans to segue to a biopic of Frank Sinatra starring Leonardo DiCaprio in the titular role and Jennifer Lawrence as Sinatra's second wife, actress Ava Gardner.

Some filmmakers might be daunted to make their next two films about the lives of Jesus and Frank Sinatra, but Martin Scorsese apparently isn't one of them. A representative for the director declined to comment on the filming plan for the Jesus film, but some details are sure to emerge as the cast gets more solidified.