8 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About ‘The Passion of the Christ’ Movie

Jim Caviezel

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.

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Jim Caviezel recounts the story of the lightning bolt that struck him as they were filming The Passion of the Christ.

Caviezel shared the experience with the 700 Club, “I was lit up like a Christmas tree! I was doing the Sermon on the Mount. I knew it was going to hit me about four seconds before it happened. I thought, ‘I’m going to get hit.’ And when it happened, I saw the extras grab the ground.

What they saw was fire coming out the right and left side of my head. Illumination around the whole body… I hear Mel screaming out, ‘What the heck happened to his hair?’ I looked like I went to see Don King’s hair stylist.”

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