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'X-Men' Star Hugh Jackman to Play St. Paul in Upcoming Film About the Apostle's Life

( [email protected] ) Apr 01, 2015 03:08 PM EDT
'Wolverine' star Hugh Jackman will play St. Paul in an upcoming film about the Biblical hero's life, Deadline has reported.
Hugh Jackman is best known for his role in ''Wolverine'' and ''Prisoners'' Photo: Gareth Cattermole/Today.com

Wolverine star Hugh Jackman will play St. Paul in a forthcoming film about the Apostle's Damascus road conversion, ministry to the gentiles, and imprisonment, Deadline has revealed.

According to the report, the 46 year old actor will also produce the film alongside Matt Damon and Ben Affleck under their Pearl Street Films production company.

The  Apostle Paul started as one of Christianity's greatest persecutors and eventually emerged as one of the most prominent heroes of the Christian faith. Following his dramatic conversion, Paul traveled throughout the Roman Empire, planting churches, spreading the gospel, and providing encouragement to the early Christians. Paul was martyred for his faith in Christ by the Romans, about 64 or 65 A.D., and is credited with writing 13 of the 27 New Testament books.

The Apostle Paul is the latest in a slew of faith-based film to come out of Hollywood, following the success of other films in the same genre including Son of God, God's Not Dead, Heaven is for Real, and Do You Believe?.

Biblical epics have also found massive success on television, from the hit series Son of God to National Geographic's Killing Jesus and the BBC's The Ark.

"There's a hunger and a thirst for this kind of film in Middle America.. I think Hollywood is going to look at (the topic) more closely, and I don't know why they don't do more," Do You Believe star Lee Majors told Variety of the genre's success.

Despite playing a Biblical giant, Jackman does not adhere to Christianity, but rather the School of Practical Philosophy, a belief system that focuses in on the power of wisdom.

"I just find the evangelical church too, well, restrictive. But the School of Practical Philosophy is non confrontational," Jackman told Parade Magazine in 2009.

"We believe there are many forms of scripture," he added. "What is true is true and will never change, whether it's in the Bible or in Shakespeare. It's about oneness. Its basic philosophy is that if the Buddha and Krishna and Jesus were all at a dinner table together, they wouldn't be arguing. There is an essential truth. And we are limitless."

Affleck and Damon are also not particularly religious; in fact, the two drew widespread criticism from faith groups after releasing the film Dogma, a satire on Catholicism which was labelled blasphemy by the US Catholic League, according to the Guardian.

"The Apostle Paul" is slated for 2016 release.