More than 14 years after the original was a blockbuster triumph, reports confirm that Mel Gibson is steering a sequel for The Passion of the Christ.
Gibson is likely to return as writer and director, and actor Jim Caviezel is in talks to reprise his role as Jesus Christ for The Passion of the Christ: Resurrection, Vanity Fair reported Wednesday.
The original 2004 Passion of the Christ was the highest-grossing R-rated film ever in North America, raking in $612 million worldwide and pulling three Oscar nominations. Gibson co-wrote and directed the Christian drama, which centered on Christ’s crucifixion—and yes, ended in his death.
After the sequel was announced, Twitter quickly offered up title suggestions, mostly riffing on the Fast and Furious franchise.
The Passion of the Christ— Denizcan James (@MrFilmkritik) January 30, 2018
2 Passion 2 Christ
The Passion of the Christ: Tokyo Drift
Passion & Christ
Passion & Christ 6
The Fate of Jesus Christ https://t.co/uL9VdsMzJJ
The Passion of the Christ— neontaster (@neontaster) January 31, 2018
2 Christ 2 Passionate
Passion of the Christ: Nazareth Drift
4 Christ's Sake
The Passion of the Christ 2: The Squeakquel— Tatered (@tatered) January 31, 2018
First look at Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ 2: Judgement Day— Tuxedo Mask (@TheLoveBel0w) January 31, 2018
Synopsis: Betrayed and left for dead, Jesus may have come back to life, but chooses to leave his past life behind. His peace is shortlived when he finds out that Judas has kidnapped Mary. This time, it's personal. pic.twitter.com/DGRT7IVtbw
The Passion of the Christ 2: The Story of the Easter Bunny— Leanna Renee (@leannuh) January 30, 2018
A sequel seemed likely after the release of the first movie but never happened, Vanity Fair reported, at least in part because Gibson was arrested for driving drunk and went on an anti-Semitic tirade. Despite Gibson’s apology to the Jewish community, he became was a Hollywood outcast for years. During that time, his girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva accused him of domestic abuse, and leaked audio revealed him verbally assaulting her with racist language.
Gibson has had the fortune of waltzing back into the mainstream after the success of his 2016 film Hacksaw Ridge. And now that he’s helming the Passion of the Christ sequel, it’s unclear if Gibson’s past will affect the success of the film. Caviezel, for his part, is promising another milestone movie.
“I won’t tell you how he’s going to go about it,” Caviezel said, according to USA Today. “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.”
We all know if there’s anything Hollywood loves, it’s a redemption story—and capitalizing on sequels.
H/T Vanity Fair