Jesus to Be Resurrected Next Easter! (In a Movie!)

The Resurrection of the Christ to film this summer; but it's not a Passion sequel

Ever since Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ struck box office gold ($612 million worldwide in 2004), Hollywood has been looking for the Next Big Thing in Christian movies. Mostly, they've struck out, but they're still trying.

Varietyreports that preproduction is under way for The Resurrection of the Christ, but it's not a sequel to Gibson's epic, nor is it made by the same studio or filmmakers. Filming will take place this summer in Israel, Morocco, and Europe, and the film will hit theaters around Easter 2011.

The movie is being produced by Bill McKay, who was also behind the 2008 movie, Billy: The Early Years, a film about Billy Graham that was a bust at the box office and among the few critics who saw it.

Here's hoping McKay does a better job with the most important event in the history of Christendom. At least he's got the money this time: $20 million to spend, according to Variety, compared to about $5 million for Billy). Jonas McCord, whose only other feature film was 2001's The Body ...

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