Principal photography has begun on an inspirational drama centering around the apostle Paul, from Affirm Films, a Sony Pictures Entertainment company.

Starring Jim Caviezel (who actually plays Luke), James Faulkner (as Paul), Olivier Martinez, Joanne Whalley and John Lynch the untitled film continues shooting through the end of September on location in Malta.

“Next to Jesus, no one played a more central role in the growth of the early church than the Apostle Paul,” said Affirm Films Executive Vice President Rich Peluso. “He wrote a vast swath of the New Testament and traveled more than 10,000 miles by foot to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This gripping film dives deep into the final months before Paul’s execution under Nero as he reconciles his faith with his past persecution of the church.”

The Logline: Paul, who goes from the most infamous persecutor of Christians to Christ’s most influential apostle, spends his last days awaiting execution by Emperor Nero in Rome. Paul is under the watchful eye of Mauritius, Mamertine Prison’s ambitious prefect, who seeks to understand how this broken old man can pose such a threat. As Paul’s days grow shorter, he feverishly works from prison to further the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and embolden his followers to stand strong in their faith against Roman persecution far greater than has ever been seen.

The movie is written and directed by Andrew Hyatt (Full of Grace). Produced by David Zelon (Soul Surfer) and TJ Berden (Full of Grace).

“Paul changed from murdering Christians to becoming their unlikely leader. His life personifies ‘forgiveness’, a concept that seems almost impossible today- but desperately needed.” Says Berden. “We at ODB Films are overjoyed to be working alongside Sony Affirm to share this much needed story with the world.” ODB Films is a Catholic ministry devoted to spiritual movies.

Zelon previously worked with Caviezel on Affirm Films’ When The Game Stands Tall. The new film, he said, marks Caviezel’s first biblical role since Passion of the Christ.

The film is slated for a 2018 release through Sony’s Affirm Films.