Everything gets a sequel. Even Passion of the Christ. The blockbuster religious biopic from director Mel Gibson is getting a follow-up from Braveheart screenwriter Randall Wallace. And it sounds like this next installment of the ‘franchise’ will pick up right where the last movie left off. With the resurrection of Jesus. Mel Gibson will return to direct Passion of the Christ 2.
Randall Wallace broke this news to THR. The writer got an Academy Award nomination for his Braveheart script, which won Mel Gibson a Best Picture Oscar back in 1995. Wallace was reluctant to confirm that his Passion sequel, which may be titled Resurrection of the Christ, was in fact moving forward. He has only recently begun penning this resurrection tale, and claims that keeping the movie under wraps any longer has become next to impossible.
Wallace most recently co-wrote and directed the hit 2014 faith based drama Heaven is for Real. He says that Mel Gibson became quite serious about a Christ sequel while the duo were working on Gibson’s next directorial effort Hacksaw Ridge, which Wallace also wrote. As it stands, the first Passion of the Christ is the most successful independent movie of all time. Wallace was actually a religion major at Duke University, and explains that the resurrection of Jesus is one of his fields of expertise.
“I always wanted to tell this story. The Passion is the beginning and there’s a lot more story to tell.”
Mel Gibson’s reps are declining any comment about Passion of the Christ 2 at this time. The first movie followed the persecution and crucifixion of Jesus and was notorious for its violent scenes against the son of god, which depicted the reality of what he went through while being nailed to the cross. Released in 2004 by Newmarket Films, the movie was an instant smash hit, taking in $612 million worldwide on just a $30 million budget. Many theorized over the years that a sequel would eventually get made, but in the decade since, Gibson has focused on other projects.
Mel Gibson arrived at Liberty University’s graduation ceremony for an advance screening of Hacksaw Ridge last month, where he was asked about a follow-up to Passion. He expressed interest in the project, but would not commit to his involvement. Wallace notes that Christian community demand for another movie is what spurred Gibson’s willingness to move forward on another Jesus themed movie. Says the screenwriter.
“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. This is such a huge and sacred subject.”
At this time, Passion of the Christ 2 does not have a studio backing it, nor does it have any financial backers. The script is still in the very early stages. But there is interest brewing amongst outside parties. Sony released a Jesus resurrection movie this past February titled Risen, which went onto make $46 million worldwide off a $20 million budget. Mel Gibson and Randall Wallace were not involved.