If 2004’s The Passion of the Christ was a record-setting blockbuster, expect the upcoming sequel on Jesus’ resurrection, written and directed by Mel Gibson and starring Jim Caviezel as Christ, to be even bigger.
While both men are tightlipped on the details concerning the forthcoming religious epic, Caviezel promised that it would be on a scale previously unseen in history. “There are things that I cannot say that will shock the audience,” he says. “It’s great. Stay tuned.”
Gibson is also not talking. However, he maintains that the new film will depict the Resurrection of Christ in a way that maintains the Biblical story in its entirety while showing a side of it most have not seen before. Gibson hinted in an interview with Stephen Colbert that it may feature Jesus ascending into hell which is not accurate because the Bible clearly states Jesus was in paradise.
During an interview with USA Today in 2016, Gibson said, “The Resurrection. Big subject. Oh, my God. We’re trying to craft this in a way that’s cinematically compelling and enlightening so that it shines new light, if possible, without creating some weird thing.”
Whereas The Passion of the Christ depicts the last 12 hours of Jesus’ life and ends with a scene that shows the stone rolling back from the tomb and Jesus standing to walk outside, the sequel supposedly explores the three days Jesus was in the tomb and ends with His Ascension.
The Passion of the Christ was made with a budget of $30 million and went on to earn $611 million worldwide ($371 million in North America), making it the highest-grossing R-rated movie in history.
That film also represented a huge milestone for faith-based movies, paving the way for others to follow in its footsteps, such as God’s Not Dead and Courageous, both of which did very well in certain markets but came nowhere close to meeting the financial success of Passion.
Another faith-based film is due to arrive in March of this year: an upcoming biopic on the life of Paul, starring Jim Caviezel who will play Luke alongside James Faulkner’s depiction of the Apostle Paul.
Caviezel had high praise for his old director, who won two Oscars for his work on Braveheart in 1996 (Best Picture and Best Director) and was nominated again in 2017 for Hacksaw Ridge. Caviezel equated the upcoming Resurrection movie as being on par with two of Gibson’s other blockbusters.
“Braveheart, that’s a film that took a long time to be able to crack,” Caviezel says. “The same thing for Passion. And the same thing for this. He’s finally got it. So that is coming.”
Caviezel says he’s been inspired by recent talks about his upcoming movie with Gibson, and even though a tentative production timeline has been set, he wouldn’t reveal when that was or when we can expect the movie.
We can only rely on Caviezal and Gibson’s firm belief that the sequel to Passion will be well worth the wait.
“I won’t tell you how he’s going to go about it,” Caviezel says. “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.”