THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST Sequel:
Will the Resurrection of Christ Get Another Telling?
By Jackie Riester, Contributing Writer
In 2004, the most successful independent movie in recent years, THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST was released to the public. Having only a $30 million budget, the movie was a marvel, earning more than $612 million in the box office worldwide. THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST depicts the final 12 hours of the figurehead Jesus’ life while in Jerusalem and was made famous for its dramatic display of the crucifixion of Christ.
Now, more than 10 years later, according to an exclusive report from The Hollywood Reporter, renowned screenwriter and movie director Randall Wallace (BRAVEHEART and SECRETARIAT) is working on continuing the story of JESUS Christ to include His Resurrection. Though no official word from Mel Gibson’s team has been released, Wallace said Gibson is working closely with him on the project. Also, Gibson mentioned his own interest in making a sequel at a recent Liberty University commencement ceremony.
Given the first movie’s unprecedented success, a sequel has been much anticipated. In fact, according to the Christian Post, several film financiers have already expressed interest in investing such a project. Because of THE PASSION’s independent nature, some people have assumed Mel Gibson’s fame had something to do with the movie’s surprising success.
This time, the anticipation alone has already brought the sequel plenty of news. Wallace believes the reason for this is that the demand in the Christian Community has persuaded Gibson to do another movie about Jesus.
“The evangelical community considers THE PASSION the biggest movie ever out of Hollywood,’ Wallace says. “They kept telling us that they think a sequel will be even bigger.”
However, with other films depicting the Resurrection and Ascension of Christ, such as RISEN, which is told from a Roman soldier’s viewpoint, some people may wonder how can Wallace and Gibson present a new, inventive angle to the same historic event.
Wallace was a religion major at Duke University and has shared how the Resurrection was of special interest to him during his studies.
In thinking about the sequel, Wallace, who wrote BRAVEHEART for Mel Gibson, says, “THE PASSION is the beginning, and there’s a lot more story to tell.” How much of the story will be covered in the sequel is still unknown, but Wallace has described the project as “a huge and sacred subject.”
As for Gibson, this project could prove to be a comeback for the popular star after he received so much scrutiny for several controversial rants and incidents in the past years fueled by problems battling alcoholism.
Meanwhile, Gibson and Wallace’s latest collaboration, HACKSAW RIDGE, about a conscientious objector and army medic during World War II, arrives in movie theaters this fall.
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