Mel Gibson is hoping to step behind the camera to direct a sequel to the biggest hit of his career, 2004's The Passion of the Christ. Screenwriter Randall Wallace — who wrote Gibson's directorial debut, the Oscar Best Picture winner Braveheart — recently told The Hollywood Reporter that he's begun work on a sequel to the film, which depicted in graphic, bloody detail the last 12 hours of the life of Jesus. The sequel, naturally, would center around the resurrection of Christ.
Gibson himself has largely been off the map since his career imploded in 2006 after he was stopped for a DUI in California and unleashed a racist, sexist rant against the arresting officers. He's been slowly crawling his way back with a series of roles in films like The Beaver, Machete Kills, and The Expendables 3, and is now finishing up his latest directorial effort Hacksaw Ridge. That film, which was also written by Wallace, stars Andrew Garfield as Desmond T. Doss, a US Army medic who refused to carry a weapon due to his religious beliefs.
Hacksaw Ridge is scheduled to be released later this year, and while Wallace said it's still far too early to discuss potential financing for the Passion sequel, it's easy to understand why Gibson would want to return to the story. The original Passion of the Christ was shot for just $30 million and ended up raking in over $611 million worldwide, making it the most successful independent film in history. (It performed so well that it held the honor of highest-grossing R-rated film as well, until Deadpool knocked it off earlier this year.)
"The evangelical community considers The Passion the biggest movie ever out of Hollywood," Wallace told the Reporter, "and they kept telling us that they think a sequel will be even bigger."