Following in the steps of 'The Passion Of The Christ'
, and possibly hitting back at 'The Omen', there's a new big screen version of Jesus' life on its way.
Tentatively titled 'The Resurrection', it picks up where Mel Gibson's blockbuster left off, chronicling the 40 days from the day he was crucified until his ascension to heaven.
Based directly on the Bible, the movie is scheduled for an Easter release from Sony Pictures' Screen Gems branch.
The mid budget division hired Lionel Chetwynd, writer and director of 'The Hanoi Hilton' to write the screenplay some months ago.
The producer is co-author of the 'Left Behind' books that cover subjects like the Rapture and Apocalypse, the religious minister Tim LaHaye.
"'The Passion' ends with Jesus being taken from the cross, and 'The Resurrection' opens with the empty cross," a source familiar with the script told The Hollywood Reporter.
"This is not a fanciful rendering. It's a serious attempt to understand the Roman world in which Christ moved and the Christian era was born."
The Biblical version of the story states that people who visited Jesus' tomb three days after he died on the cross found it empty. Mary Magdalene, other people in his life, and the disciples saw him on various occasions during the days before his ascension.
The new film, which hopes to reach the same audiences that helped Gibson's 2004 film gross $612-million at the global box office, will focus on the encounters with Jesus and their implications on the Roman empire.
Apart from the 1987 'Hilton' film, the writer, director and producer Chetwynd was behind the TV movie 'Ike: Countdown to D-Day' which starred Tom Selleck.
Another film, the upcoming 'The Nativity'
, is to chronicle the birth of Jesus.