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Arclight Films on Thursday unveiled new drama Fatima, starring Harvey Keitel and Sonia Braga (Aquarius). The film, currently in preproduction, will be directed by Marco Pontecorvo (Partly Cloudy With Sun). Based on a true story, the film dramatizes the story of three children who said they witnessed several apparitions of the Virgin Mary sharing apocalyptic prophecies in Fatima, Portugal. Two of them died during a 1918-1917 influenza pandemic and were made saints last week by Pope Francis. “We’re thrilled to be working with the incredible team behind Fatima, including the remarkably talented Harvey Keitel and Sonia Braga,” said Gary Hamilton, managing director of Arclight Films. “Cannes is the perfect place to introduce buyers to this heartfelt and timely film, whose main characters were just this week canonized by the Pope, and that has an impressive, built-in audience around the world.” He added: “Fatima is a highly commercially viable film that remains true to its miraculous message. The story of Fatima is what real-live legends are made of.”
Keitel is familiar to many for being a favorite of director Martin Scorcese, who last year brought to the screen the story of Catholic persecution in Japan, “Silence.” This isn’t Keitel’s first foray into religious territory. He was featured as Judas in Scorcese’s controversial “The Last Temptation of Christ,” (earning a “Golden Raspberry Award” for Worst Supporting Actor) and may be recognizable to a lot of filmgoers as the mobster boyfriend who wanted to kill Whoopi Goldberg in “Sister Act.” Oh: he also played Satan in “Little Nicky.”