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If your first movie makes enough money, then some studio somewhere will give you money to make a sequel. It's a nearly indisputable edict of Hollywood filmmaking. And yet, we have never seen a sequel to the highest grossing R-rated movie of all time, The Passion of the Christ. It looks like that may be changing, however, as a new report says that there is a follow-up in the works which would focus on the resurrection of Jesus Christ, following his crucifixion from the previous film.
The news comes from screenwriter Randall Wallace, the writer of Mel Gibson's Braveheart, who confessed to The Hollywood Reporter that he was working on the project. According to Wallace, while he and Gibson were working together on their upcoming release Hacksaw Ridge, the two began to discuss the potential for a second Passion movie. While Wallace and Gibson have collaborated a few times over the years, Wallace was not involved in the first Passion but, as a religion major at Duke, the writer has a personal interest in the story and appears truly excited to be involved in it.
While Mel Gibson's side is not commenting on the possibility of a Passion of the Christ 2, he did express interest in a sequel in a recent appearance at Liberty University. It's hardly surprising to hear that something like this is in the works. Between Gibson's directorial return in Hacksaw Ridge and his action comeback in Blood Father, it's clear that that the actor/director is making a concerted effort at a professional comeback, following his rather public run-in with the police from a few years back. It would make perfect sense for that comeback to include his most successful professional project.
Of course, if The Passion of the Christ 2 does happen, it will end up as the second recent film to tell the story of the resurrection of Christ. Joseph Fiennes recently starred in Risen which told the story of the resurrection of Christ from the point-of-view of a Roman soldier tasked with confirming that Jesus was, in fact, dead. As with many films obviously geared toward this specific audience, Risen was a financial success but a critical flop, though, to be fair, Risen fared better with critics than most in the genre.
A new Passion of the Christ will almost certainly be a high-interest film when and if it is ever officially announced. The success of Mel Gibson's upcoming films may play an important part in studio interest, although the original Passion was technically an independent film and odds are the sequel would follow suit.
What do you think about a potential sequel? Let us know in the comments.