Room at MGM inn for 'Myriam'

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MGM has acquired North American distribution rights to "Myriam, Mother of the Christ," the biblical story of Mary. The screenplay is written by Benedict Fitzgerald, who penned "The Passion of the Christ."

The film, slated to bow around Easter 2008, is a dramatic rendering of the key events in Mary's life leading up to the birth of Jesus and the holy family's journey from Egypt to Nazareth following the death of King Herod. The story is told from Mary's point of view as she gradually understands the unfolding of God's plan and responds to her calling. No director or cast is attached.

"We believe that a feature of this quality and pedigree will have an inherent appeal to many movie consumers in North America," MGM chief operating officer Rick Sands said. "The film has the potential to become a perennial favorite each holiday season."

MGM will work with its home entertainment partner, 20th Century Fox, on the film's DVD release.

Fitzgerald and Richard Garzilli are producing "Myriam" alongside John Garbett and Erik Lomis.

MGM executive vp business affairs Jonathan Bader negotiated the deal for the studio.
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