Director Paul Verhoeven is famous for his transgressive and over-the-top Hollywood entertainments/satires like Robocop, Basic Instinct, and Total Recall. But did you know he's also a Jesus scholar? It's true! He co-wrote the book Jesus of Nazareth, which is a work of Biblical revisionism that posits a Jesus who's less big on miracles, but more of a political rebel type guy. Here's Verhoeven on his Jesus obsession:
"If you look at the man, it’s clear you have a person who was completely innovative in the field of ethics. My own passion for Jesus came when I started to realize that. It’s not about miracles, it’s about a new set of ethics, an openness towards the world, which was anathema in a Roman-dominated world. I believe he was crucified because they felt that politically, he was a dangerous person whose following was getting bigger and bigger. Jesus’ ideals are about the utopia of human behavior, about how we should treat each other, how we should step into the shoes of our enemy."

He's dedicated to the idea, too, and has been trying to get a movie version financed for more than a year. I can't imagine why he would be having trouble - a movie about Jesus being conceived when Mary was raped by a Roman soldier wouldn't be controversial or anything, would it? (Deadline)