Picking Up Where "The Passion" Left Off

Thanks to Peter T. Chattaway for catching this breaking news:

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – Picking up where the biblical story of Jesus Christ’s passion leaves off, Sony Pictures is angling for an Eastertime release of a feature film tentatively titled “The Resurrection,” people familiar with the project confirmed Wednesday.

Using the Bible for its source material, “Resurrection” will tell the story of Jesus Christ beginning the day he died on the cross and ending about 40 days later with his ascension into heaven.

According to insiders, Sony’s mid-budget Screen Gems division commissioned a script several months ago from Lionel Chetwynd, the veteran screenwriter, producer and director whose credits include the feature “The Hanoi Hilton” and the Emmy-nominated TV movie “Ike: Countdown to D-Day.”

Set to produce is Tim LaHaye, co-author of the best-selling “Left Behind” series of books. A popular minister and frequent TV news pundit, “Resurrection” will mark LaHaye’s first foray into mainstream filmmaking.

In mining biblical material, those behind the project hope to tap into the same vein that so richly rewarded Mel Gibson for his self-funded “The Passion of the Christ.” The 2004 release earned $612 million in worldwide box office receipts, making it one of the 30 most-popular films of all time.

“‘The Passion’ ends with Jesus being taken from the cross, and ‘The Resurrection’ opens with the empty cross,” a person familiar with the script said.

According to the Bible, women who visited the tomb of Jesus Christ three days after his crucifixion found it empty, and his disciples and other acquaintances, including Mary Magdalene, encountered him postresurrection on various occasions during a 40-day period.

The film will focus on these dramatic encounters and their implications for the Roman garrison in Judea and the broader Roman Empire, insiders said.

“This is not a fanciful rendering. It’s a serious attempt to understand the Roman world in which Christ moved and the Christian era was born,” a person familiar with the project said.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet has two passions: writing fiction, and celebrating art — music, cinema, photography, literature — through writing and teaching. He is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” — Through a Screen Darkly. And his four-novel fantasy series, The Auralia Thread, which begins with Auralia's Colors, was published by Random House. He speaks at universities and conferences around the world about understanding art through eyes of faith. He is earning his MFA in Creative Writing at Seattle Pacific University, where he has worked for 11 years as an editor, writer, and communications project manager. His work has been recognized in The New Yorker, TIME, The Seattle Times, IMAGE, Ravi Zacharias International — and Christianity Today, where he served as a film journalist for more than a decade. He recently began a weekly column called "Listening Closer" for Christ and Pop Culture.

  • Anonymous

    Just because a movie like The Passion has grossed a massive amount of money (with movie tickets $8 and up today, versus 25 cents forty years ago) does not make it one of the most popular films of all time. It makes it one of the most money-making films of all time. Big difference, but we see this error pretty often in reviews. If numbers of movie tickets sold (and no DVD sales) had always been the deciding factor instead of total receipts, movies from earlier decades of the film industry could have a chance at being most popular.

  • jasdye

    o yeah, i keep forgetting that Jesus worked and operated in a Roman world. what was i thinking, that the influence of the jewish and greek cultures, philosophies, ways of life, etc. actually superceded the politics of rome in Jesus’ environs? silly me.

    the superpowers are the most important entities when telling a story and its setting.

  • Blanka

    I saw it..and I think it was well done.

  • Stephen

    “Set to produce is Tim LaHaye…”

    And this is supposed to make us want to see it?

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry or get really drunk and start shooting at cars on the highway.


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