In a world of sequels, prequels, remakes, reboots and disastrous rehashes, it was only a matter of time before Mel Gibson contemplated resurrecting the savior and founder of Christmas himself, Jesus Christ.
Following the unprecedented success of his 2004 film Passion of the Christ, which converted box offices worldwide to the tune of 611 million dollars and also happened to be one of the highest grossing independent movies in history, Mel's Christ reboot would more than certainly find a receptive, eager audience.
Skirting controversy on screen for Passion's notoriously graphic scenes of torture and suffering as well as off screen, retaliating to a critic of the film by saying the following:
"I want to kill him…I want his intestines on a stick… I want to kill his dog”
Gibson and his occasional anti-semitic, sexist, homophobic comments have been, for the benefit of us all, keeping a low profile of late. In fact we've not really heard a lot from him since his averagely received film Apocalypto, his DUI arrest and following breakdown, which took place over a decade ago.
However, Mel and his long-term friend Randall Wallace, the screenwriter of Braveheart and writer/director of successful faith film Heaven is for Real, are finally rolling back the tombstone and teaming up to write the sequel to the Passion, unsurprisingly titled The Resurrection.
Speaking to Pastor Greg Laurie at the evangelical SoCal Harvest in Anaheim California, Gibson first thanked the evangelical crowd for supporting the Passion at a time when he was getting a lot of criticism for it before going on to state that in the Passion:
“I made the ultimate superhero film in the Passion of the Christ….real superheroes don’t wear spandex and they don’t have a lot of 3D special effects but they do operate on a higher level.”
And perhaps he makes a good point, the success of both Marvel and DC movies has often been put down to a desire for audiences to look to a savior, spandex-clad or otherwise, who appears to be able to save the world from perceived evil forces. In conversation with Filmink, Michael Shannon who played General Zod in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel somewhat mirrored Gibson's sentiment:
"It’s a very delicate time right now on Earth, and there’s a lot going on that is pretty frightening. It would be nice to believe or think that there was somebody that could protect us from that. Man Of Steel is a very relevant movie.”
Gibson went on to state in his SoCal interview that, due to the complexity of the subject matter, he wouldn’t want to simply re-render the event of the resurrection but would want to really experience it and, in doing so, tease out some of the deeper meanings. We can expect the sequel to be just as graphic and as bold as The Passion.
Given that it's in the initial stages of development it's unclear whether any of the original Passion cast would return for The Resurrection. However given that twelve years have passed since the original film was filmed, Jim Caviezel who played Jesus may seemed to have aged rather excessively given that he is only supposed to have been lying in his tomb for three days before appearing in his resurrected form. However, the miracles of post production do know next to no bounds.
Before he can give The Resurrection his full attention however, Mel is currently promoting his forthcoming war drama Hacksaw Ridge, which sees him directing the feature and Wallace again in the screenwriters chair. Following the true story of US Army medic Desmond T. Doss, a Seventh-day Adventist and a conscientious objector in WWII, Mel never seems to stray far from involving himself in projects which act as vehicles for his faith, which we have to admit, is far preferable to him making films about feminism.