Mel Gibson working on sequel for THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST

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Well, nobody can ever accuse Mel Gibson of not being ballsy. Back in 2004, before the world had ever even seen a single frame of Gibson’s grueling religious drama The Passion of the Christ, it was already mired in controversy as accusations of antisemitic content was flung around. And the controversy just increased exponentially when Gibson revealed his violent retelling of the last days of Jesus Christ.

Gibson was of course no stranger to controversy, having fielded all kinds of accusations in the past, but this arguably the worst he had faced to date. And then came his infamous drunk meltdown in 2010, the result of which practically made him a pariah in Tinsel Town. The Australian actor/filmmaker has since been slowly working his way back into the Hollywood limelight over the last couple of years – and may actually have serious Oscar contender on his hands with the WWII drama Hacksaw Ridge – but that stink of controversy has never really left him completely.

Clearly, Gibson doesn’t give a damn though, as THR are reporting that he is in fact busy developing a sequel to The Passion of the Christ. Gibson will be reteaming with his Oscar-nominated Braveheart writer Randall Wallace for the still untitled film, which is set to now tackle the Biblical resurrection of Jesus. The production is still in the early scripting stage, and there’s no word on casting, but I would assume that the principal cast from original film would be returning.

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As to why Gibson would choose to pursue this project despite the controversies he endured, it more than likely boils down to the original’s record-setting success. The Passion of the Christ is still the highest domestic grossing R-rated film of all time ($370 million) – despite Deadpool‘s valiant efforts earlier in the year – and the overall highest grossing religious movie all time ($611 million). It’s also the highest grossing non-English film of all time, a feat made even more impressive due to the fact that it’s mostly in Aramaic, Latin and Hebrew. Not exactly common for a Hollywood studio film.

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The film clearly resonated with religious audiences though – whether good or bad is debatable – and this is something that Wallace is fully aware of, as he told THR:

“The evangelical community considers The Passion the biggest movie ever out of Hollywood, and they kept telling us that they think a sequel will be even bigger.”

Wallace, who had religious studies as his major at university and most recently penned another faith-based film in Heaven Is For Real, also revealed that this has been a passion project for him (pardon the pun):

“I always wanted to tell this story. The Passion is the beginning and there’s a lot more story to tell.”

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Of course the argument can also be made that audiences are not as interested in hearing this story as Wallace may think. Risen tackled a similar portion of the New Testamanent – one of the most important sections of Christendom – and still failed to really make any lasting impact on the box office charts. Maybe the meta aspect of Gibson’s own resurrection will be enough to pull in a substantial audience this time though?

It will probably be some time before that question is answered though, as right now there’s no studio, distributor or financial backing on board yet. Despite Wallace’s claims, Gibson’s reps have also not been willing to offer confirmation that he would be returning behind the camera for this one. With Hacksaw Ridge – which Wallace also wrote – being primed as a possible awards contender, Gibson is probably focused on putting his best face forward now and doesn’t want to court any unnecessary controversy. The fact that he’s even made his way back up the ranks this far can already be considered as miraculous.

 

While  he’s been  . Of course, at the time, that incendiary incident had just been the latest in a string of public faux pas,

Last Updated: June 10, 2016

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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