According to insiders, Sony's mid-budget Screen Gems division commissioned a script several months ago from Lionel Chetwynd, the veteran screenwriter, producer and director whose credits include the feature "The Hanoi Hilton" and the Emmy-nominated TV movie "Ike: Countdown to D-Day."[He has also written Biblical films for TV, including Moses, Joseph, and Jacob]..."This is not a fanciful rendering. It's a serious attempt to understand the Roman world in which Christ moved and the Christian era was born," a person familiar with the project said. [my comments in brackets]
They plan to pursue the 40 days that Jesus appeared to people after His resurrection through His ascension, as well as to consider the ramifications that made to the surrounding Roman Empire during the times of the 1st century church. Sounds like it could be a shorter version of the TV miniseries A.D.
It appears that after the hugely unexpected box office success of Mel Gibson's "Passion," Hollywood is trying to tap into the sizeable audience that appreciates reverently-approached religious material. Not only is this movie now on the radar, "Nativity," an upcoming Christmas movie about Mary, Joseph, and Jesus' birth is also being currently filmed, also using the Bible as its main source material.
Read here for another's commentary on the project.