Bria Isaacson, News Editor
Mel Gibson and Oscar-nominated “Braveheart” screenwriter Randall Wallace are currently working on a sequel to “The Passion of the Christ,” according to The Hollywood Reporter (THR). This sequel will focus on Jesus Christ’s resurrection, Wallace told THR. This movie will be called “The Resurrection.”
“Of course, that’s a very big subject and it needs to be looked at because we don’t want just to do a simple rendering of it,” Gibson said to The Harvest Crusade. “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.”
Gibson and Wallace both have experience creating faith-based films. Gibson not only directed and produced “The Passion,” but also directed “Hacksaw Ridge,” a movie to release on Nov. 4. “Hacksaw Ridge” is about a Christian pacifist named Desmond Doss who was drafted to fight in World War II. Doss won the Congressional Medal of Honor without even firing a shot. Wallace wrote this movie and also the 2014 faith-based film “Heaven is For Real.”
Wallace is excited to write “The Resurrection.”
“I always wanted to tell this story,” Wallace said in an interview with THR. “’The Passion’ is the beginning and there’s a lot more story to tell.”
“The Passion” is the most successful independent film of all time, produced with a $30 million budget by independent Newmarket Films, according to IMDB. When it released in 2004, it earned $612 million worldwide. It is the highest grossing foreign language film in U.S. box office history, as well as the highest grossing religious film in worldwide box office history, according to IMDB. Demand in the evangelical community helped push Wallace and Gibson to make a sequel.
“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 said to THR.
Many Asbury students have seen this film and are excited for the sequel. Freshman Sydney Scheller is one of those students.
“Whenever my family watches [‘The Passion’], my mom and I cry a lot,” Scheller said. “It’s a real story and it’s Jesus, so it’s sad. . .but I’ll go to see [‘The Resurrection’]. I’m glad that the same people are making it.”
Scheller is one of many Christians responding to the graphic scenes in “The Passion” with tears. This gruesome crucifixion is a subject of controversy for many Christians. This is not what worries sophomore Seth Kornegay in the making of a sequel, though.
“[‘The Resurrection’] has potential,” Kornegay said. “I’m pretty skeptical when it comes to [movies with] Christian content. It can be kind of corny and cheaply made, which will turn people off. . .or it can turn lots of heads if it’s well done. I’m optimistic for this one.”
The project is in the early script stage and has not confirmed studio or financial backing yet.