With Jim Caviezel announcing to USA Today that he’s signed on to reprise his role of Jesus Christ, the news is now official: Mel Gibson is actively working on a sequel to The Passion of the Christ.
According to USA Today, “Gibson and his star have been tight-lipped on details of how the new film will move forward. But the actor says he’s been inspired in his talks with Gibson by the direction the project is taking.”
Caviezel told the paper, “There are things that I cannot say that will shock the audience. It’s great. Stay tuned. I won’t tell you how he’s going to go about it. But I’ll tell you this much: The film he’s going to do is going to be the biggest film in history. It’s that good.”
For fans of the first film, this is great news. Considering the success of the first movie, if the sequel is even better, Hollywood will have even more incentive to produce faith-based films.
Still the highest grossing R-rated movie of all time with over $370 million at the box office, The Passion of the Christ opened the door for Hollywood to invest more money in faith-based films. Since 2004, audiences have had a slew of movies to enjoy that are aimed at Christians.
The first movie told the story of the final twelve hours prior to Jesus’ death on the cross. A little over a year ago, Mel Gibson said that the sequel will cover Jesus’ resurrection. This is pure speculation, but I can’t help but wonder if the sequel will also include Jesus’ ascension. That will leave the second coming of Christ for Gibson to turn the series into a trilogy. On one hand, I hope that I’m right. On the other hand, I can’t imagine how Gibson would treat the second coming, but thinking about it makes me a little afraid.
Gibson did tell Stephen Colbert in 2016 that the sequel was at least three years away from being released. In the same interview, Gibson said that the movie, tentatively titled Resurrection, will be more than just a chronological retelling of the story. According to Gibson, “the things around [the Resurrection] is [sic] really the story.”
For the record, Gibson’s interview with Colbert makes me somewhat skeptical of the movie. However, considering that he did a good job with the first one, I’ll try to reserve my judgment until I actually see the sequel.
For those interested in watching Jim Caviezel play biblical characters, it should be noted that he is starring in an upcoming movie about the Apostle Paul. If you’re not content to wait until Gibson’s sequel comes out, you can watch Caviezel bring Luke to life on the big screen.