Jesus Returns to the Silver Screen with “Resurrection of the Christ,” Easter 2011
Indie film producer and director Billy McKay, alongside director Jonas McCord (“The Body,” 2001, starring Antonio Banderas), is set to take the reins of “Resurrection of the Christ,” according to weekly entertainment magazine “Variety.” Armed with a $20 million budget, the religious drama is scheduled for a ten week shoot on location in Morocco, Israel and throughout much of Europe, beginning in July.
The film is being hailed as the sequel to Director/Producer Mel Gibson’s 2004 blockbuster “The Passion of the Christ,” which has raked in an astonishing $611 million worldwide since its release, according to Box Office Mojo. “Resurrection,” however, has no official ties to “The Passion” and will not share any of the same actors or parent production companies.
Screenwriter Dan Gordon will be penning the film’s screenplay and script, which will focus on the “power, greed and ambition of those involved in the crucifixion—Pontius Pilate, Herod, Caiaphas and Judas,” according to “Variety” and reports from “The Christian Post.”
McKay, who was one of the three producers behind “Billy: The Early Years” (2008), told “Variety” Magazine, “It’s as much about the key players as it is about Jesus. We want to bring in the ‘Gladiator’ dimension of the first century against the political milieu of the time.”
There has been no official cast list released. “Resurrection of the Christ” will be distributed by Samuel Goldwyn Films of “Amazing Grace” (2006) and “Fireproof” (2008) fame and is slated to release Easter weekend 2011.