Upon the 10-year anniversary of its release, here are 8 things you might not know about Gibson’s moving, challenging masterpiece.
1. Some of the source material is controversial, too.
One of the main inspirations for co-screenwriters Mel Gibson and Benedict Fitzgerald was “The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ,” a tale in which poet Clemens Brentano chronicles the (supposed) visions of stigmatic German nun Anne Catherine Emmerich (1774-1824).
While it’s been speculated that Brentano wrote most of the book himself, with a Vatican investigation concluding that “it is absolutely not certain that [Emmerich] ever wrote this,” the book inspired some of the most striking images in the film, including the suspension of Jesus over the bridge after he’s first taken into custody, the torment of Judas by demons, Mary’s wiping up the blood of Jesus from the ground after his scourging and the dislocation of Jesus’ right shoulder so that his hand could reach the hole for the nail on the cross.