Did you know that while filming “The Passion of the Christ” Jim Caviezel, the actor that played Jesus, was struck by lightning along with the assistant director, who was struck twice
The Passion of the Christ is a 2004 American epic drama film directed by Mel Gibson and starring Jim Caviezel as Jesus Christ. It depicts the Passion of Jesus largely according to the New Testament Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. It also draws on other devotional writings, such as those disputedly attributed to Anne Catherine Emmerich.
The film covers the final 12 hours of Jesus’ life, beginning with the Agony in the Garden and ending with a brief depiction of his resurrection. Flashbacks of Jesus as a child and as a young man with his mother, giving the Sermon on the Mount, teaching the Twelve Apostles, and at the Last Supper are some of the images depicted. The dialogue is entirely in reconstructed Aramaic and Latin with vernacular subtitles.
The film has been highly controversial and received mixed reviews, with some critics claiming that the extreme violence in the movie “obscures its message.” Catholic sources have questioned the authenticity of the non-biblical material the film drew on. The film, however, was a major commercial hit, grossing in excess of $600 million during its theatrical release, becoming the highest grossing R-rated film in United States and highest grossing Non-English language film of all time.
The film was produced independently and filmed in Italy – primarily at Cinecittà Studios in Rome, and in the old city of Matera, and at Craco (Basilicata). The estimated US$30 million production cost, plus an additional estimated $15 million in marketing costs, were fully borne by Gibson and his company, Icon Productions. It was released on Ash Wednesday, February 25, 2004. It was rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America for “sequences of graphic violence”. Icon Entertainment distributed the theatrical version of the film, and 20th Century Fox distributed the VHS/DVD/Blu-ray version of the film.
Gibson consulted several theological advisors during filming, including Fr. Jonathan Morris. During filming, assistant director Jan Michelini was struck twice by lightning. Minutes later, Jim Caviezel was also struck.