Lionsgate has acquired film rights to Dr Reza Aslan’s Zealot: The Life And Times Of Jesus of Nazareth.

The book challenges long-held assumptions about Jesus and reappraises the figure in a humanistic context. Random House Publishing Group published the book in July 2013.

“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 president of production Erik Feig.

Feig, Lionsgate evp of production Gillian Bohrer and creative executive James Myers will oversee for the studio.

Lionsgate’s evp of business affairs Robert Melnik and svp of business and legal affairs Philip Strina negotiated the deal with UTA in association with Cheney Literary and attorney Michael Schenkman of Bloom Hergott on behalf of Aslan.