Actor Jim Caviezel has confirmed a sequel to “The Passion of the Christ” is in the works, and the new film will center on the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
The 2004 blockbuster, which took in over $610 million at the box office, ended with Jesus, healed and whole, walking out of the tomb.
There has been talk in Hollywood for years that there would be a sequel to “The Passion,” which Mel Gibson — who directed, co-wrote and co-produced the film — has stated his intention to do.
Alex Marlow, host of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily, recently asked Caviezel, who portrayed Jesus in the original film, where things stood with the project.
“Mel Gibson just sent me the third picture, the third draft [of the script]. It’s coming,” Caviezel responded. “It’s called ‘The Passion of the Christ: Resurrection.'”
“It’s going to be the biggest film in world history,” the actor said.
Pastor Greg Laurie raised the issue of a “Passion” sequel directly with Gibson during their 2016 appearance at the Christian stadium event SoCal Harvest.
No script was written at that time, according to Gibson, but “Braveheart” (1995) writer Randall Wallace had been brought on board to draft it.
In addition to working together on “Braveheart,” the two teamed up for “We Were Soldiers” (2002), which Gibson starred in and Wallace wrote the screenplay for and directed.
Wallace also co-wrote and directed “Heaven is for Real” (2014).
Gibson told Laurie the resurrection of Jesus was a “very big subject” but he believed Wallace was “up to the task.”
“It needs to be looked at because we don’t want to just do a simple rendering of it,” Gibson said.
“I mean we can all read what happened, but in order to really experience and explore probably deeper meanings of what it’s about, it’s going to take some doing,” he added.
Later in 2016, Gibson hinted during an interview with CBS “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert that part of the story might be what Jesus did between the time of his death on Good Friday and his resurrection on the third day.
Some have interpreted passages in the Bible’s book of 1 Peter to mean that Jesus descended into hell, or at least some unearthly realm, and set free the spirits of those held captive by the devil and sin who had died before his crucifixion.
Some of the most memorable scenes in “The Passion” were Satan’s interactions with Jesus and the crowd who called for his crucifixion, as well as the moment the demon leader had the terrible realization that Christ had won their contest by voluntarily dying for the sins of mankind.
Following his resurrection, Jesus made multiple appearances to his followers before his ascension 40 days later.
Mary Magdalene was the first to see him.
Later, in a powerful encounter, Jesus restored Peter to his calling, forgiving the apostle for his thrice denial that they even knew each other in the hours leading up to the crucifixion.
There’s also the famous “doubting Thomas” incident during which Jesus appeared to the apostle, making him a believer in the resurrection.
Caviezel’s portrayal of a resurrected Jesus will certainly be a nice contrast to his enacting the agony of the cross.
The Washington state native told The Western Journal he physically suffered during the film’s shooting, recounting he became very ill when a virus attacked his heart and he had to undergo two surgeries.
Caviezel told NBC’s “Today” prior to “The Passion’s” release in 2004 that an actor playing a Roman soldier had cut a 14-inch gash in his back during the scourging scene.
The devout Roman Catholic also dislocated his shoulder carrying the cross and caught pneumonia.
Asked about a recurring theme of his portrayal of people wrongfully being taken captive and tortured — “The Count of Monte Cristo” (2002), “The Passion” and now his latest in theaters, “Infidel” — Caviezel responded that once producers and directors see you can go there on camera, they want you in their picture.
Gibson saw Caviezel’s performance in the World War II movie “The Thin Red Line” and thought he would be good for “The Passion.” Stephen McEveety, one of the film’s producers, agreed.
McEveety then brought him on director Cyrus Nowrasteh’s “The Stoning of Soraya M” (2008), which led to Nowrasteh casting him in “Infidel.”
They are “really good stories,” Caviezel told The Western Journal.
“You’ll meet other actors that will say, ‘I wish I could get what you get, you know, those real intense roles,’ and so eventually, one day, I may find a decent comedy,” he said.
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