Regardless of how you might feel about it as an authority or source of moral instruction, the Old Testament is pretty hard to beat as piece of literature. It’s varied and completely crammed with images, bit characters, and narrative incidents, from popular favorites like the 10 plagues of Egypt and the fiery furnaces to memorable lesser-knowns like Balaam’s talking donkey and the gruesome assassination of King Eglon.
And then there’s Methuselah, a piece of biblical trivia whose name has become a byword for longevity. Methuselah, the grandfather of Noah (of ark-building fame), has the distinction of being the longest-lived person in the Old Testament, having died at the ripe old age of 969. Here’s everything the canonical text of the Hebrew Bible says about him: he was the son of Enoch, he lived a long time, and he begat Lamech, who begat Noah.
Late last year, in a development that sounded like a throwaway gag in a very broad Hollywood satire, Tom Cruise attached himself to an action-packed Methuselah project scripted by Zach Dean (Deadfall; no, not that one). And now Deadline reports that the project may have found a director: Joachim Rønning, best-known for co-directing Kon-Tiki and the upcoming Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man Tell No Tales with fellow Norwegian Espen Sandberg.
The Jewish midrash tradition—the major source of inspiration for Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, in which Anthony Hopkins played Methuselah—provides plenty of great extra-canonical stories involving Methuselah and his demon-slaying sword. But for now, the only description offered by Deadline is that the movie will depict Methuselah ”a man who lived for almost 1,000 years without ageing [sic], all while developing a set of unparalleled survival skills.”