In this era of reboots, remakes and a never ending list of sequels I was still surprised by the news that actor/director Mel Gibson was looking at a sequel to 2004 epic drama The Passion of the Christ chronicling the last 12 hours of the life of Jesus. The film was directed and co-written by Gibson and is the highest grossing religious film to date.
According to reports Randall Wallace, the screenwriter for 1995 Best Picture winner Braveheart which starred Gibson, says he is writing the follow-up which will focus on the resurrection of Christ.
Wallace, who also directed and co-wrote the 2014 faith-based drama Heaven Is for Real, said “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.” Gibson is yet to speak publicly on the project so we will have to wait and see on that score.
Now I loved the original film. The acting by Jim Caviezel was masterful, the cinematography was exquisite, the costuming fantastic and the use of Aramaic, Hebrew and Latin gave an authenticity not seen before in religious films. Some people complained about the brutality of the scourging scene and it being difficulty to watch, but I believe that was the whole point of it.
I am, however, in no way, shape or form looking forward to a sequel. The Passion reminded me of a recent writing exercise I was given about setting a story to a ticking clock. In this film the ticking clock is the impending crucifixion of Jesus and every moment and scene builds towards that. The final scene with his resurrection is perfection. Why do we need anything more?
And the 40 day period between Jesus’ resurrection and his ascension is not the most eventful. We mainly have Mary Magdalene and the other women finding the empty tomb and Jesus reuniting with Peter, Thomas and his disciples. The Bible also says he did miracles and continued preaching but it does not go into detail. It is not a lot of content for a film and any licence taken to add things could be troublesome at best and disastrous at worst. A prequel to The Passion may be a better idea.
Now there is a market for religious films, as 2016’s Risen and last year’s The War Room has proved, but I think this is one idea that should be shelved.
So what do you think about a sequel to The Passion of the Christ? What did you think of the original film? Feel free to comment below.
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