It's been a little bit since we've heard anything official regarding The Passion of the Christ 2, which Mel Gibson has been planning since June 2016. Now, we have an update from screenwriter Randall Wallace, who reveals that he and Gibson have discussed the project quite a bit. But, for now at least, they are playing things pretty close to the chest.
I recently had the chance to speak with Randall Wallace in honor of the upcoming 25th anniversary Braveheart Blu-ray steelbook release. During the conversation, I asked Wallace about the status of the sequel, which Mel Gibson has said will be titled The Resurrection, given that it will follow Jesus' resurrection following his crucifixion. As it turns out, this is something Wallace knows a great deal about. Here's what he had to say about it.
"It's something we talk about a lot. My major in college was religion, and I did a year seminary afterward. My major focus of study was the resurrection. That is the Mount Everest of movies and we are in discussions about it a lot. It's a highly-charged one, so we keep our cards close to our chest."
The last we heard about the project from Mel Gibson, who directed the original, was in 2016 while he was promoting Hacksaw Ridge, which represented his return to directing after a decade. Gibson had been out of the limelight ever since a very public DUI arrest and now-infamous anti-semitic rant. The filmmaker has been trying to make something of a comeback, popping up in movies over the last few years such as Daddy's Home 2 and Dragged Across Concrete. Gibson is also attached to direct a remake of The Wild Bunch.
Setting aside any personal feelings one might have about Mel Gibson or the idea of this proposed sequel in general, there are obvious business reasons for doing this movie. The Passion of the Christ, released in 2004, grossed a staggering $611 million at the global box office, working from a budget of just $30 million. Until Deadpool was released in 2016, that made it the highest-grossing R-rated movie in history. So, financially speaking, it's easy to see why a studio would get on board with the idea. On the other side, there is indeed a story to be told and it's something both Gibson and Randall Wallace are quite interested in exploring.
Officially speaking, there is no word on when this could happen. It seems likely that Mel Gibson will first direct The Wild Bunch, which has been coming together behind the scenes. Jim Caviezel is expected to return as Jesus. Beyond that, no other casting has been hinted at. Caviezel said in 2018 that he expects it to be the "biggest film ever." We'll be sure to keep you posted as any further details are made available. In the meantime, the Braveheart 25th anniversary Blu-ray is set to arrive on June 16 from Paramount Pictures.