Deadline has a long, long interview with Mel Gibson up today. The primary focus of the interview is Gibson’s new film, Hacksaw Ridge, which opened to mostly good reviews and a ten-minute standing ovation at the Venice film festival this week — but along the way, Gibson talks about the other films he’s made, and about the films he wants to make. And that includes his sequel to The Passion of the Christ.
The most startling revelation is that the sequel will not simply deal with the events that followed the first Easter Sunday. Instead, the film, as currently conceived, will interweave the Resurrection appearances of Jesus with flashbacks to the Old Testament — similar, perhaps, to how The Passion of the Christ took place between the arrest and execution of Jesus but had flashbacks to earlier parts of his life.
Here are the relevant parts of the interview:
DEADLINE: Do you really see a sequel in The Passion of the Christ?
GIBSON: That’s something we’re starting to talk about. Sort of a sequel, that moves on from the Resurrection, but jumps back before, after, back to the Old Testament. The Old Testament is a pre-figurement of everything and the New…you can correlate them in an uncanny way. . . .
Randall and I are talking about [the Passion sequel]. It’s a pretty deep subject because you have to use what’s there and not stray too far away, but at the same time you have to use what you have juxtaposed against other things that are there to enlighten what’s there more, and to illustrate things that perhaps you never thought of before. It’s tricky but doable. If you could make something clear or make somebody realize something about what they thought they knew or have a more intense experience with it or find something surprising about it or another aspect of it that they never before considered, that’s pretty good. It’ll be a couple years away because it’s a big one. I’d like to direct it. There are so many ways into the subject of the Resurrection.
Sounds ambitious. I wonder if he’ll use the same subjective techniques he used in The Passion to segue into the flashbacks. In any case, I really hope he can pull it off.
Meanwhile, on another biblical note, Gibson says he also still hopes to make a movie about the Maccabees some day (an earlier attempt did not turn out well):
The Maccabees, that’ll get made one day too. It’s like the Viking thing, on a back burner, somewhere. It’s the best story in the Old Testament. Like a Western, but set in 175 BC. It’s just fantastic.
There’s a lot of other interesting stuff in the Deadline interview, too. Check it out.