Christian box office muscle influences Mel Gibson to write, produce sequel to his smash hit

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Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” (2004) made over $600,000,000 worldwide and is the 29th highest grossing film in U.S. history. Over 12 years later, it remains the biggest box office Christian movie of all time.

Now, according to The Hollywood Reporter, “Braveheart” screenwriter Randall Wallace and Gibson are teaming up to write and produce a sequel to “Passion” that will focus on events surrounding Christ’s resurrection.

Wallace, who was nominated for an Oscar for his screenwriting on best picture winner “Braveheart,” also co-wrote and directed the 2014 Christian drama “Heaven Is For Real.” He and Gibson decided to do the “Passion” sequel while making “Hacksaw Ridge” together, a World War II drama, opening in November, about Desmond Doss, the first Congressional Medal of Honor winner who also happened to be a conscientious objector.

Wallace, who studied the resurrection while he majored in religion at Duke University, told THR, “I always wanted to tell this story. The Passion is the beginning and there’s a lot more story to tell.”

According to Wallace, the success of Christian movies and the demand for more definitely played into he and Gibson’s willingness to write and make the sequel. “The evangelical community considers ‘The Passion’ the biggest movie ever out of Hollywood, and they kept telling us that they think a sequel will be even bigger.”

Sony’s resurrection themed February release, “Risen,” cost $20 million to make and grossed over $46 million worldwide.

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