‘Magdalena’ Week Begins: Actress Jenna Dewan Finds Religion With Supernatural Hero

This week is “Magdalena Week” here at Splash Page. Each day we’ll be giving you an exclusive look at “Magdalena,” the upcoming big-budget adaptation of the Top Cow comic book starring Jenna Dewan and Luke Goss. Today, learn about the character and where the film will diverge from its source material.

Before Wonder Woman, or Red Sonja, before She-Ra or She-Hulk, one female comic book super hero is going to make it to the big-screen to kick butt and take names, to thwart evil and kill the wicked.

And she’s gonna do it all in Jesus’s name (Amen).

Well, sort of, laughed recently cast Jenna Dewan, the actress set to fill the giant shoes — and monster lineage — of Patience, the holy warrior protagonist of the upcoming comic flick “Magdalena.”

Wait, who?

Wielder of the mighty Spear of Destiny, the Magdalena refers to any of a number of distant descendents of Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene who fight on behalf of the church. Thanks to her bloodline, she possesses preternatural fighting abilities and (quite literally) sacred blood – think “The Da Vinci Code” crossed with “X-Men.”

In the comics, several Magdalenas throughout history are given stories. Conversations between Dewan and producer Gale Anne Hurd, however, have made it clear to the actress that the movie will more or less follow the comic origin of one Magdalena, Patience, the last in the long line of warriors and the current champion of the world.

“They’re going to follow that comic pretty closely,” Dewan said of the planned plotline.

In the comic story, Patience grows up in a nunnery before becoming a homeless runaway on the streets of NYC. When presented with her destiny, she’s initially hesitant, circumspect, rebellious. “She has this streak in her, a free spirit,” Dewan explained. All of which makes her the perfect fit for the film version of Magdalena, the 27-year-old former “Step-Up” star said.

“What’s interesting in the comic is that Patience is the only one that they mention who questions. She doesn’t just instantly go into ‘Oh, the Catholic Church is right and I know what I’m doing.’ She says I’m very strong in what I believe in, I believe people are doing bad things,” Dewan told MTV News. “I want to fight that because I feel like inside of me that’s what I want to do. But she doesn’t attach herself to any symbols or labels or anything like that.”

Avoiding labels is actually a big challenge for the filmmakers, Dewan confessed, given the heavily sacrilegious nature of the character. Solution? While the recently announced movie version of the heroine will certainly honor her heritage, it won’t necessarily focus as much on the religious aspects of the character, Dewan insisted.

“When I started this I said I didn’t want it to be a religious movie – the Catholic Church versus everyone else. I wanted it to be somebody who knows she has something inside bigger [than herself], this spiritual want to help people,” Dewan said. “That’s really what we’re focusing on – fighting the darkness for the light, rather than the Catholic Church and religion. There is that element of it but it’s more about fighting people who are evil in this world.”

Has Jenna made the case for her superhero flick? Tell us your thoughts below, and check back tomorrow for Part II of ’Magdalena’ Week on Splash Page!