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Jim Caviezel as Jesus in The Passion of the Christ (2004)

Easter arrives this weekend, and many families will no doubt be looking for ways to mark the occasion. Unfortunately, due to our current situation, their means of celebration may be somewhat limited this year. But streaming services will still provide a way for many of them to watch movies or TV shows together – either physically or remotely. A prime movie that’s associated with the Easter holiday is The Passion of the Christ and, if you’re hoping to check it out for free over the weekend, you’re in luck.

The Passion of the Christ is currently free to stream on Vudu. The Jim Caviezel-led film is one of only a handful of religious based-based films that the streaming service is offering with no charge.

With the film having been originally been released in 2004, the fact that Vudu would offer the it for free doesn’t come as much of a surprise. And even if it were to have been priced, the film’s age would have probably made it fairly reasonable to rent or buy.

When Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ original opened in theaters, it had a polarizing effect on critics. Many were impressed with elements like the cinematography, makeup and Jim Caviezel’s strong performance as Jesus Christ. However, its controversial writer-director was also criticized for the film’s alleged antisemitic messages and use of graphic violence. Some may still remember the seeing the torture of Jesus at the hands of the Roman guards.

Despite the criticisms, The Passion of the Christ was a success at the box office, bringing in over $600 million on a $30 million budget. It also gained significant support from evangelical audiences, as many of those audience members arranged group trips to the theater to go see it.

In the years following the film’s release, Mel Gibson has expressed interest in producing a sequel that would focus on the resurrection of Jesus. Randall Wallace, who penned the script for Mel Gibson’s Braveheart, was revealed to be working on a screenplay for a sequel to The Passion of the Christ in 2016.

It also sounds like Jim Caviezel is game for reprising his titular role for a second film. In 2018, the actor not only promised that Gibson would make the film, but he also declared that it would become the biggest movie in history.

This is definitely a bold claim on Caviezel’s part, which was unlikely then but even more unlikely now following the release of Avengers: Endgame. Still, you have to admire the actor’s confidence.

At this point, it looks like The Passion of the Christ 2 still has a long way to go before it makes it to the silver screen. But those wanting to revisit the original will have plenty of opportunities to stream it this weekend, whether it be through Vudu or through Amazon Prime, which charges a fee to rent.

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