The Resurrection as a movie about Jesus and Gibson’s career.
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, and that was the most important day in existence by default because existence just became a thing and before existence nothing existed. Fast forward a few thousand years or so of less important things happening and Jesus is born, and this day becomes the new most important day in existence. Fast forward a couple more thousand years of even lesser importanter things happening to the newest most important day in existence: Mel Gibson sort of announces a follow-up to The Passion of the Christ titled Jesus Strikes Back… I mean, Return of the Jesus… no, wait, The Resurrection, as a thing that’s going to happen.
Mel Gibson made the announcement of The Resurrection as an offhand comment when speaking to Greg Laurie at the SoCal Harvest, as seen in the interview below.
This is a Christian event with famous Christian people. Some of the highlights of the interview include:
1:00 – Greg Laurie talks about Mel Gibson’s “big guns.” I’m assuming Laurie is referring to Gibson’s biceps as it was not apparent if Gibson had actual, literal big guns somewhere on his person. This is America, so you never know, you know? Laurie then challenges Gibson to an arm wrestling contest to which Gibson barely feigns interest in and then only halfheartedly attempts to compete. C’mon! Mel would rock this fool.
1:45 – Laurie begins to talk about The Passion of the Christ and how the violence in the movie – which, if I remember correctly, was extreme and controversial and the cause of the polarization of the film – wasn’t really all that bad compared to what probably really happened to Jesus back in the day. Gibson agrees and speaks on how we’re underwhelmed by Jesus’s sacrifice, or at least, we take it for granted because of all the PG representations of his crucifixion. That’s always been my issue with the Bible: not enough graphic violence to make me really appreciate how much God loves me.
3:00 – And then we get to the big reveal: The Resurrection! Randall Wallace is mentioned as a collaborator, through writing or directing or both. Wallace first became famous for writing Braveheart, a top 10-er of all time movie for me, so he will always hold a special place in my heart. He also wrote and produced Pearl Harbor, a bottom 10-er of all time movie for me, so never mind about that whole special place in my heart nonsense. He also directed Secretariat, which is my 4th favorite movie headlined by a horse. I’ve only ever seen 4 movies starring a horse, though. (If you’re curious, the three ahead of it are Hidalgo, Seabiscuit, and War Horse, in that order – shout out to the horse from Tangled, Maximus. You da real MVP.)
4:00 – Gibson speaks on his trepidations on getting the revenant story of Jesus just right and adequately providing enough thinking time to figure out what Jesus’s resurrection actually means to the world. “In order to really experience and explore probably deeper meanings of what it’s about is going to take some doing,” he says. There’s been like two thousand years of analysis on this very subject, but Gibson just needs a few more days to hone the rough edges out.
4:45 – Laurie mentions Gibson’s new, upcoming World War II film Hacksaw Ridge and the – paraphrasing here – “graphic, but not gratuitous” depictions of war in the movie. This coming from the guy that thought The Passion of the Christ could have been more violent. I’ll never want to see Hacksaw Ridge more than I do right now after hearing Laurie’s statement.
7:45 – Gibson talks about how he’s already “made the ultimate superhero film” with The Passion of the Christ. Someone seems salty. He’s probably never seen The Dark Knight.
The Passion of the Christ is my main source of Jesus knowledge. I went to church as a kid, but all I remember are my reveries of fighting ninjas and robots that broke through the rafters or how I was going to go to Hell on an eternal vacation of damnation and torment if I didn’t accept Jesus as my personal savior. I remember saying the words they told me to say but not really feeling any different afterwards.
Everyone already knows the gist of the story of Jesus’s resurrection, but that’s not the point. This is exciting news because of Mel Gibson and his vision. For whatever faults can be found with The Passion of the Christ, it’s hard to argue against it as an incredible moviegoing experience. The film is deep, beautifully shot, and unwavering and singular in its message (even if that message is Jesus really, REALLY suffered for the absolution of our sins, so you better feel extra guilty when you touch yourself at night).
I don’t know the level of involvement Mel Gibson will have with this movie. Producer? All things Jesus authority? He needs to at least play God, given his likeness to the deity in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
Maybe people are still mad at Mel Gibson for some of his supposed and not-so supposed homophobia, racism, antisemitism, and/or domestic violence issues. Can you separate the artist from the art? Does level of offense matter? Like, are all the great values learned from The Cosby Show null and void now? I don’t know. I flip-flop on the subject depending on my mood. I’ve had many Christians tell me that if The Passion of the Christ was successful in converting just one person over to Jesus’s team, it would have been worth it. If you truly believe that that is how salvation is attained, that’s a great sentiment to have and I support it 100 percent. It didn’t have that effect on me, but I loved it for its filmmaking ideals. Here’s to The Resurrection being just as profound. Amen.