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Mel Gibson to produce film on Christ's Passion

Actor Mel Gibson is in Italy to finalise details for the production of a film on the passion and death of Jesus, according to Variety magazine.

Variety magazine said Gibson sought advice from Vatican experts for Passion, which will be produced by his company Icon Productions. The film will be faithful to Gibson's Catholicism, the magazine added.

Gibson has decided on actor Jim Caviezel to play the role of Jesus. Caviezel, also a Catholic, is acclaimed for his roles in The Count of Monte Cristo and High Crimes.

The Spanish newspaper La Razón reported that the filming will begin in mid-September, coinciding with the Roman autumn, which in Gibson's words will bring "the right light to re-create the particular atmosphere I want."

Gibson and two aides travelled to Sassi di Matera early last month in preparation for filming. Sources speculate that filming may take place in the nearby town of Craco.

Pier Paolo Pasolini filmed the Gospel According to St. Matthew in Sassi in 1964. Its ancient neighborhood of Sasso Caveoso has an old center abounding in cave-houses excavated from limestone. "Passion" is due out in 2003.

Icon Productions
Gibson braves heartfelt questions (USA Today)
Sassi di Matera


10 Sep 2002