The actor who played Jesus in Mel Gibson’s 2004 biblical blockbuster “The Passion Of The Christ” is in talks to resurrect that role.
Jim Caviezel is in negotiations with Gibson to participate in an upcoming sequel to “Passion” that will focus on the resurrection of Jesus Christ, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The 49-year-old Caviezel was hesitant to reveal more details about the film in an interview with USA Today, but he promised that it will be “great.”
“I won’t tell you how [Gibson is] going to go about it,” Caviezel told USA Today. “But I’ll tell you this much, the film he’s going to do is going to be the biggest film in history. It’s that good.”
It’s been nearly 14 years since the original “Passion” opened in theaters. The R-rated film focused on the final hours of Jesus’ life and was filled with violent, graphic imagery of the religious figure’s torture and crucifixion.
But some Jewish and interfaith groups protested how the film portrayed Jews as being responsible for Jesus’ death. The Anti-Defamation League expressed concerns that the film could fuel anti-Semitism.
Gibson himself was criticized after spouting anti-Semitic remarks during an arrest in 2006. He later apologized for his words.
Gibson confirmed in late 2016 that he was working on a sequel to “The Passion Of The Christ.” He said he hoped the film would be more than just a chronological retelling of the events of the resurrection.
Gibson indicated that the film may not be released until late 2019 or early 2020 because the resurrection is such a complex topic.
“The Resurrection. Big subject. Oh, my God,” Gibson told USA Today in 2016. “We’re trying to craft this in a way that’s cinematically compelling and enlightening so that it shines new light, if possible, without creating some weird thing.”
During a recent conference sponsored by The Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS), Caviezel spoke to Catholic college students in Chicago about some of the physical obstacles in recreating the crucifixion. At one point, he said his shoulder was dislocated while he was carrying the cross.
“Every day, I had to pick up that thing. It was like a penance, it ripped into my shoulder, tearing into my flesh,” he said. ” With each passing hour it got heavier.”
Before he potentially returns to the role of Jesus, Caviezel will appear in a religious film about the apostle Paul, playing the role of his companion Luke. That movie is scheduled to hit theaters on March 28.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story stated incorrectly that Luke was a disciple of Jesus. He was a companion of Paul the Apostle.