The cast of Terrence Malick’s life of Christ film has been revealed, with Son of Saul star Géza Röhrig taking the leading role.
Röhrig will play Jesus in The Last Planet, which will tell the story of Christ’s life through a series of parables. Matthias Schoenaerts, who features in Malick’s most recent film, A Hidden Life, will portray St Peter, while Mark Rylance is Satan.
Speaking at the Deauville film festival, Rylance said production on his scenes would begin in October, and that he would be playing multiple versions of Beelzebub.
“Terry wrote four versions of the character of Satan,” he said, “and I thought I would play only one. But I heard I was going to play all four. One of them must have been a woman at some point, but it was when he asked me to grow a beard that I realised I wasn’t going to do it that way.
“I’m very happy to act for Terrence Malick, but I’m intrigued, because I hear he talks to you all the time. And coming from the theatre, I’m not used to the director yelling at me while I act or tell me what to do. But his films always intrigued me.”
Malick’s faith has been an explicit element of his work from his first films, with its centrality increasing in more recent movies. Röhrig, who shot to fame in his first role as a prisoner in Auschwitz in László Nemes’s Oscar winner, until recently worked as a Bible teacher and corpse-washer in the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York.