Shohreh Aghdashloo is in final negotiations to join Keisha Castle-Hughes in Nativity, New Line Cinema's look at the life of the Virgin Mary before the birth of Christ.

Catherine Hardwicke is directing the movie, which is being produced by Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the story, to be told with a strong female perspective, will follow Mary and Joseph's life before Christ as their love, faith and beliefs are tested. The Mike Rich script incorporates their departure from Nazareth and travel to Bethlehem and includes such biblical figures as King Herod and the three wise men from the East.

Keisha Castle-Hughes already is cast as Mary, and Aghdashloo would play Elizabeth, her sister. Elizabeth, too, is visited by an angel and becomes pregnant with the child that will grow up to be John the Baptist.