According to The Hollywood Reporter, Catherine Hardwicke is in negotiations to direct Nativity, New Line Cinema's look at the life of the Virgin Mary before the birth of Christ. The studio wants Hardwicke for her ability to tell the story of Mary's life from a strong female perspective.

The studio picked up Nativity last month as a spec script from writer Mike Rich, who also is one of the writers of the upcoming Invincible. Rich's screenplay follows Mary and Joseph's life before the birth of Christ as their love, faith and beliefs are tested. The script incorporates their departure from Nazareth and travel to Bethlehem and includes such biblical figures as King Herod, John the Baptist and the three kings from the Orient, among others.