"The Passion of the Christ" director Mel Gibson has revealed his next project, a sequel to the 2004 epic drama, will focus on the time between the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.
Recently, Lakewood Church pastor Joel Osteen asked the "Hacksaw Ridge" director if the movie would be about the resurrection, and Gibson replied, "Yeah, I think so ... We were talking about it. We're getting into some interesting areas on this that, between the Crucifixion and the Resurrection, like, what was going on in there."
Gibson also opened up about the difficulties of telling a Bible story from a unique angle: "You do it so that it surprises," he said. "You do it so that it enlightens. Just some kind of telling, some kind of rendering that suffices is just not good enough. It has to be dug deep for and it has to have, in its image and its sound and its visual, it has to be able to delve to places that people have never even thought before, I think, on a theological level."
Gibson first discussed making a sequel to "The Passion" during an August interview with evangelist Greg Laurie: "We're talking about that. Of course, that is a huge undertaking," the actor said of the upcoming film. "And you know, it's not the 'Passion 2.' It's called 'The Resurrection.' Of course, 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 - you know, read what happened."
The "Braveheart" actor told Laurie that screenwriter Randall Wallace, who directed "Heaven is for Real," is "up to the task" of writing the second film: "He is also, as well as a brilliant writer, he is a great director. He directed 'We Were Soldiers' and 'Heaven is for Real' and stuff. So, he is a good writer and director."
Starring Jim Caviezel, "The Passion of the Christ" was a major commercial hit, earning a whopping $612 million worldwide on a $30 million production budget, making it the highest grossing religious film in history. The film also received three nominations at the 77th Academy Awards.
Gibson recently returned to the director's chair after a 10-year hiatus for "Hacksaw Ridge", the true story of the first conscientious objector to receive the U.S. Medal of Honor, and is expecting his ninth child with girlfriend of two years Rosalind Ross.
The rest of the actor's interview with Osteen and his wife, Victoria, will air on Osteen's SiriusXM channel on Oct. 28.