Mel Gibson is still talking about The Resurrection, his proposed sequel to The Passion of the Christ. Two months ago, he said it will have flashbacks to the Old Testament, and earlier this week, he said it might follow Jesus into Hades. Now he’s made a few more comments about the film, in a public interview with Raymond Arroyo.
Commenting on the fact that his film won’t simply be a chronological retelling of the events described in the gospels, Gibson said:
It’s not the Burnett version, you know. A man comes back, walks through walls, has holes in hands, eats a piece of fish. It’s not that. It’s a big, vast, theological experience, I think. You need to delve into what that means in a way that you take that as the centrepiece and you juxtapose it against many things that go on around it — and in other realms, so it gets pretty wild. It’s like an acid trip.
I assume “the Burnett version” is a reference to Mark Burnett’s miniseries The Bible and its big-screen spin-off Son of God. Interestingly, Burnett himself went on to produce A.D. The Bible Continues, which made significant use of special effects to depict the “other realms”, at least where the Ascension was concerned.
Gibson went on to hint at how far back his film’s back-story might go:
It’s just the neverending kind of– It just keeps revealing itself more and more, the further you get into it. Everything from the fall of the angels to the– You know, I mean, it’s just crazy.
Finally, Arroyo said it sounded like Gibson’s film wouldn’t be a collection of “greatest hits” from the book of Acts, and Gibson replied:
No it’s not that. That’s not it. It’s like, why didn’t they recognize him on the way to Emmaus, you know?
That’s a very good question, and it’s one that relatively few films have tackled. In A.D. Anno Domini, the two men on the road to Emmaus have never met Jesus or his followers before, so the fact that they don’t recognize Jesus isn’t an issue. And in The Miracle Maker, Jesus’ face is obscured by a head-covering of sorts, so the two disciples he meets don’t get a good look at him. And those, I think, are the only film depictions of this story that I have seen. (Matt Page mentions a few others.)
So, it sounds like Gibson is proposing a more mystical (for lack of a better word) reason for why the disciples on the road to Emmaus didn’t recognize Jesus?
As ever, we’ll find out one day, if and when Gibson actually makes this film.
You can watch the interview here: