Actor Mel Gibson responds to speculation about 'Passion' sequel during surprise appearance

Posted September 7

Rumors have been swirling for months surrounding a potential sequel to Mel Gibson's mega-popular 2004 hit film, "The Passion of the Christ."

It's a prospect that Gibson directly addressed on Sunday night during a surprise appearance at Pastor Greg Laurie's SoCal Harvest, a Christian event held at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California.

During a sit-down interview on the main stage, Laurie directly asked Gibson if he's truly planning a sequel to the film, as has been extensively reported.

"We're talking about that," the famed actor and director responded. "Of course, that's a huge undertaking."

Gibson was careful to note that this wouldn't be "The Passion Two" and that the prospective film would, instead, be called "The Resurrection."

Watch Gibson's comments here.

But the actor said there are certainly some challenges to making a follow-up, especially given the prominence of the gospel story.

"That's a very big subject and it needs to be looked at, because we don't want to just do a simple rendering of it," Gibson said. "I mean, we can all read what happened."

He continued, "In order to really experience it and explore probably deeper meanings of what it's about is going to take some doing."

Rumors about the film began to take form after Randall Wallace, writer of "Braveheart" and director of "Heaven Is for Real," among other films, reportedly told The Hollywood Reporter in June that he had begun working on the script.

According to the outlet, Wallace made the admission with reluctance, as he said that it was becoming difficult to keep the project under wraps.

"I always wanted to tell this story," Wallace is quoted as saying. "'The Passion' is the beginning and there's a lot more story to tell."

Gibson had previously fuelled speculation when he was a surprise guest at Liberty University's commencement speech earlier this year, telling the audience at the evangelical college that he'd have interest in making a follow-up "Passion" film.

And while Gibson didn't discuss whether a script was in the works, he did tell Laurie that Wallace is "up for the task."

The actor and filmmaker also discussed the graphic nature of Jesus' crucifixion in "The Passion" — a topic of conversation when the film first came out in 2004.

"There's a tendency for all of us to take that event ... for granted," he said, noting that the raw depiction shows the extent of what Jesus might have gone through. "It's been sanitized a bit that it becomes ineffective, ineffectual, non-emotional."

Gibson also said that he has made films with a strong religious message like "The Passion" because "faith is a real thing," saying that he believes he "made the ultimate superhero film in 'The Passion of the Christ.'"

"Real superheroes don't wear spandex and they don't have a lot of 3D special effects, but they do operate on a higher level, on a supernatural level," he said. "And they actually look and appeal to something greater than themselves — and they do something super human."

Whether Gibson can re-create another "superhero" film based on the resurrection remains to be seen. But, as Deseret News National previously reported, there are certainly some barriers to a "Passion" sequel, though it appears Gibson, himself, is also aware of those potential constraints based on what he told Laurie.

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