Lionsgate Picks Up 'Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth'

Zealot Cover by Reza Aslan - P 2013

Zealot Cover by Reza Aslan - P 2013

The film will be based on Dr. Reza Aslan's controversial book of the same name.

Lionsgate has picked up the screen rights to Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, the best-seller written by Dr. Reza Aslan.

“Reza Aslan has written a remarkable book that manages to bring the ancient world into contemporary relief and to make a timeless story very timely,” said Lionsgate motion picture group’s president of production, Erik Feig. “We are excited to create this uniquely cinematic and immersive world for moviegoers to experience.”

PHOTOS: Jesus in Film and TV

The controversial book -- which Publishers Weekly named as one of the year's best
-- looks at Jesus through a fresh set of eyes, examining the era as well as the man and how he, above other prophets of the period, ended up changing the world.  

“[Liongate’s] vision for Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth is aligned with my objective in writing the book, which was to illuminate the life of Jesus in a humanistic, as opposed to religious, context,” said Aslan.

Feig, Liongate’s exec vp production Gillian Bohrer and creative exec James Myers will oversee the project’s development.

Aslan was repped by UTA, Cheney Literary and Bloom Hergott.