Anyone familiar with the "Acts of the Apostles" will understand that using the word "sequel" in reference to Mel Gibson's "Passion of the Christ" is a perfectly appropriate description. Picking up right where the "Passion" left off would be absurdly easy. ANY money-hungry producer or director eager to recreate the cinematic phenom of the double aughts, not to mention one of the most profitable films in history, need only bring "Acts" to life on the silver screen. Then why don't they? Well, that's the $60,000 question. There's so much money being left on the table, it's very much the elephant in Hollywood's gilded room.
Sure, we're getting films like the "Blind Side," "Narnia," and "Fireproof" -- all of which are appreciated, but nothing like the visceral emotional experience of a "Passion" that hits the faithful in their very soul and translates into a real religious experience. For all the obvious reasons, Hollywood seems unwilling to do what they do with every other hit film: recreate it over and over and over until it drops dead of fatigue.
But why would any sane filmmaker take the risk? We all saw what the Hollywood establishment and the MSM did to Gibson long before he said those terrible things during his DWI arrest a year or so later. We all watched as they set out to destroy an Academy-Award-winning director in every way possible, to toxify him. But that was the idea. The MSM and Hollywood were so threatened by the very idea of the "Passion" (no one had seen it when the attacks began) -- especially should it be a hit -- that their only recourse was to launch into the ugliest and most personal campaign of destruction launched against a filmmaker since the 1950s. And the message to the rest of Hollywood was clear....
"This will happen to you. " On a smaller scale, we just saw the same thing happen to Joel Surnow with respect to "The Kennedys."
And so with all that money sitting there on the table, here's one direction Hollywood's decided to go in:
Mel Gibson hewed closely to the New Testament with 2004's The Passion of the Christ and the film grossed over $600 million worldwide to become the largest independent film of its day and the top-grossing non-English language film ever. But veering from that strategy can do more than alienate that audience segment as Universal Pictures found out when Martin Scorsese filmed 1988's controversial and in some eyes blasphemous The Last Temptation of Christ from Nikos Kazantzakis' novel and angry protesters were dragging crosses in front of the home of MCA Universal head Lew Wasserman. Have things changed since then? ...
Hollywood agency WME will soon shop the movie rights to The Final Testament of the Holy Bible, a James Frey book published this weekend that imagines what the Second Coming of Christ would be like in contemporary America and depicts Jesus Christ as bisexual and promiscuous. ...
Director Paul Verhoeven (RoboCop, Total Recall, Basic Instinct, Starship Troopers) and his ICM reps have spent the last half year unsuccessfully trying to raise financing for a movie version of Jesus of Nazareth, a book Verhoeven co-wrote and researched for nearly two decades. In his revisionist vision of Christ, Verhoeven rejects the miracles, the immaculate conception, and the resurrection that Catholics all over the world will celebrate tomorrow. Verhoeven feels they undermine the core teachings that have kept Christ relevant for more than 2,000 years. Verhoeven had developed a Jesus Christ film idea with comedian Mel Brooks years ago and became consumed.
"The Last Temptation of Christ" made $8.4 million
"The Passion of the Christ" made $612 million
Please tell me again how Hollywood is money driven and not agenda-driven.