New Line Cinema has cast Keisha Castle-Hughes, Shoreh Aghdashloo, Ciarán Hinds and Oscar Isaacs in "Nativity." The film, which follows the story of the Virgin Mary before the birth of Christ, is scheduled for a December 2006 release and will begin shooting in May.

Castle-Hughes, who received an Oscar nomination for best actress in 2003 for her role in Whale Rider, will play Mary in the two year period leading up to the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem.

Aghdashloo, an Oscar nominee for The House of Sand and Fog, will portray Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist. The role of King Herod will be played by Hinds.

Isaacs will star opposite Castle-Hughes as Joseph, Mary’s husband. Catherine Hardwicke is directing "Nativity," while Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey are producing. Mike Rich penned the script.