It’s sort of amazing that hasn’t happened before now. Someone has finally decided to follow up Mel Gibson’s wildly successful The Passion of the Christ, and while it’s not truly a sequel to that film… it might as well be. Variety says an indie producer named Bill McKay is working on a movie called Resurrection of the Christ. Lest you think this is some throwaway indie project which will never be heard from again, they say Samuel Goldwyn Film is backing it and the movie, set for an Easter 2011 release, will be a $20 million production.

McKay’s movie will be written by a guy named Dan Gordon, directed by Jonas McCord, and they promise to spread the focus around in this one. It’ll be as much about other key players as it is about Jesus, expect to see the Apostles figure in prominently, but they’re also intent on telling a tale of power, greed, and ambition involving Biblical, Jesus-killing baddies Pontius Pilate, Herod, Caiaphas, and Judas. Ironically, their goal is to tap into the Passion market and horn in on some of that sweet, Mel Gibson monetary action.

Just to put all of this into perspective, Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ cost around the same amount as this will, checking in with a $30 million production budget. It then went on to make $611 million worldwide. Maybe it’s unreasonable to expect that same kind of performance from Resurrection, after all it lacks the star power Mel Gibson’s version brought to bear, but you never know. What’s Jim Caviezel up to these days? Not much. How does he feel about getting hit by lightning again? Get him involved and suddenly this becomes a big, big deal.

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