After making almost $612 million on a $30 million budget, Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ has been sparking rumors of a sequel since its 2004 debut. However, unlike comic book adaptations or original material, the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is more or less set in stone and has been for quite a few years. So while it’s easy to laugh off the idea of a sequel to a film that infamously featured the gruesome and protracted death of its title character, there’s actually quite a bit more to the story of Jesus Christ that’s left to be mined cinematically. And that’s exactly what Gibson plans to do.
As THR has confirmed, a sequel to The Passion of the Christ is in the works with Oscar-nominated screenwriter Randall Wallace (Braveheart) admitting (reluctantly, the report notes) to the fact that he is indeed working on the script. A religious studies major at Duke University, Wallace will be chronicling The Resurrection of the Christ (which sounds like a good sequel title if ever I heard one) and picking up where the previous film left off 12 years (or roughly 2,000 years) ago.
Here’s what Wallace had to say about getting the opportunity to bring the Resurrection to life through film:
“I always wanted to tell this story,” he says. “The Passion is the beginning and there’s a lot more story to tell.”
That story, as members of the Christian faith believe, sees Jesus Christ resurrected three days after his death by crucifixion. He then appeared eight times to various people, like Mary Magdalene, Doubting Thomas, and his disciples fishing in Lake Galilee. These visits and final instructions were believed to be the moments finalizing the establishment of the New Testament on Pentecost. There’s plenty of source material to work with for Wallace, Gibson, and whoever fills out the cast.
However, things get a little strange once the conversation turns to just how big a money-maker this sequel will be, a conversation which might just rub Wallace the wrong way:
“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. It’s too early to talk money,” he adds. “This is such a huge and sacred subject.”
But money will certainly be on the minds of whoever the filmmakers decide to cast in the sequel. Will Jim Caviezel return in the title role? What about Monica Bellucci as Mary Magdalene or the rest of Jesus’ disciples? If the production sticks with the original cast, those 12+ years will certainly look like a lot more than a few hours or days have passed. But if this film comes to fruition, you might just be able to convince your family that seeing Gibson’s Jesus Christ double feature is an acceptable substitute for going to church.
Do you think a sequel to The Passion of the Christ is a good idea, or maybe just an inevitable one? Let us know in the comments below!