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'Risen,' New Movie About Jesus' Resurrection, Linked to Mel Gibson's Massively Succe

Will "Risen," an upcoming movie about the events following the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, prove as successful as Mel Gibson's gritty and controversial "Passion of the Christ," the top-grossing Christian movie of all time?

"Passion of the Christ," Gibson's 2004 blockbuster, is known for its gory and controversial presentation of Jesus' crucifixion. The film, slapped with an R-rating, won numerous awards after its release and remains the most successful Christian movie ever in terms of box office gross ($611 million worldwide).

The multitude of faith-based films that have since followed Gibson's work have failed to surpass the director's 2004 project, including last year's much hullabalooed "rival," "Son of God" (see a comparison here).

Steven Mirkovich, best known for his editing work on 2004's award-winning "Passion of the Christ," is at the helm once more for the new biblically-inspired film, "Risen."

"Risen" takes an imaginative approach to the New Testament accounts of the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth, who the Bible describes as being resurrected from the dead three days later. The new film is told from the perspective of a fictional top Roman military official who oversees Jesus' death on a cross.

The unbelieving tribune, named Clavius, is commanded by Pontius Pilate "to find the body, dispel rumors of a risen Messiah and prevent an uprising in Jerusalem," according to a press release. Clavius is assisted in his mission by Lucius, another "abiblical" character. Lucius is portrayed by Tom Felton, popular for his role as the pernicious Draco Malfoy in the "Harry Potter" film series.

The press release itself presents "Risen" as a sort of continuation to "Passion of the Christ," although promoters do not directly refer to the film by its name: "Twelve years after the blockbuster film about Jesus' crucifixion and many others like it, RISEN picks up where that film dropped off in the biblical story of Jesus' death, resurrection and ascension."



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