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How Mel Gibson’s Production of The Passion of The Christ Changed Everything

Mel Gibson is one of my favourite action heroes of all time and you too may feel the same. He remade the epic death of Christ in his Passion of Christ production and basically I watched the movie immediately it was released because so many famous preachers had so many christians eager to watch it and I remember being really curious about it. Am not surprised it became such a huge success.

Mel Gibson is currently mourning the loss of one his friends, Christo Jivkov, who lost his battle to cancer on 1st April 2023. Jivkov starred as John the Apostle in THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST. After that, Jivkov continued acting in Italy and worked as a producer with Red Carpet Films. May he RIP.

Mel Gibson is best known for his action hero roles, particularly his breakout role as Max Rockatansky in the first three films of the post-apocalyptic action series Mad Max and as Martin Riggs in the buddy cop action-comedy film series Lethal Weapon.

In 2004, Mel Gibson wrote and produced The Passion of Christ. It is an epic biblical drama film starring Jim Caviezel as Jesus of Nazareth, Maia Morgenstern as Mary, mother of Jesus, and Monica Bellucci as Mary Magdalene. It depicts the Passion of Jesus largely according to the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. It also draws on pious accounts such as the Friday of Sorrows, along with other devotional writings, such as the reputed visions attributed to Anne Catherine Emmerich

The film was mostly shot in Italy.The dialogue is entirely in Hebrew, Latin, and reconstructed Aramaic. Although Gibson was initially against it, the film is subtitled.

The film was controversial and received polarized reviews, with some critics calling the film a religious and holy experience, praising the performances of the cast, production values, and John Debney’s musical score, while others found it anti-semitic and criticized the violence as extreme. The film grossed over $612 million worldwide and became the fifth highest-grossing film of 2004 internationally at the end of its theatrical run. It is the highest-grossing (inflation unadjusted) Christian film and independent film of all time.

As of 2023, it is the highest grossing “R” rated movie in America, with $370.8 million. It received three nominations at the 77th Academy Awards in 2005, for Best Makeup, Best Cinematography, and Best Original Score.

Mel Gibson warned actor Jim Caviezel that playing the character of Jesus Christ was going to be very difficult and that if he accepted, he most likely would be marginalized by Hollywood so Caviezel asked for a day to think about it & his response to Mel who was funding & directing the movie was: “I think we have to make it, even if it is difficult.” And something else, my initials are J.C., & I am 33 years old. “I didn’t realize that until now.” Jesus died and rise again at 33 years old. Mel responded with “You’re really scaring me you know.”

During filming, Jim Caviezel who plays the part of Jesus lost 45 pounds, he was struck by lightning, and accidentally struck twice during the scourging scene leaving him scarred. He dislocated his shoulder when the cross was dropped into the hole with him on the cross. He suffered pneumonia & hypothermia wearing only a loin cloth on the cross for endless hours. The crucifixion scene alone took 5 weeks of the 2 months of shooting.

Caviezel’s body was so stressed and exhausted from playing the role that he had to undergo two open heart surgeries after the filming production.

Jim explained, “I didn’t want people to see me. I just want them to see Jesus. Conversions will happen through that.”

Pedro Sarubbi, who played Barabbas, felt that it was not Caviezel who was looking at him, but Jesus Christ himself, as he played that role he said of Caviezel, “His eyes had no hatred or resentment towards me, only mercy and love.”

Luca Lionello, the artist who played Judas, was an avowed atheist before shooting began. He eventually converted, and baptized his children.

Mel Gibson paid $30 million out of his own pocket for the production of the film because no studio would take on the project. They also used his hand in the scene where they were nailing Jesus hand to the cross.

If you loved this movie then make sure to catch the sequel , The Resurrection of Christ, which is currently on the way and hopefully it will be as amazing as the Passion of Christ.

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