Less Violent "Passion" to Hit Theaters for Holy Week This Year

From Gibson softens ‘Passion’ for Easter release. 11/02/2005. ABC News Online:

“Mel Gibson will release a new, low-violence version of his 2004 mega-hit The Passion of the Christ next month, Daily Variety reports.

The star, dubbed Hollywood’s most powerful figure since the huge success of the low-budget, graphically gory film, is trimming five to six minutes of violent scenes ahead of the film’s March 11 reappearance on United States screens.

The original film raked in $474 million in its North American run that began on Ash Wednesday one year ago.

But Gibson noted that many people had avoided the film because of its grisly portrayal of Jesus Christ being tortured by Roman troops.

‘There has been quite a demand by the religious community to bring [the film] back for Easter,’ Bruce Davey, Gibson’s partner at Icon Productions, told Variety.

‘And there has been a lot of discussion about the violence. Mel wanted to try and accommodate those people by making a version that is softer and gentler.

The film, The Passion Recut, will be beamed onto 500 to 750 screens by distributor Newmarket Films, Variety said, adding that the new versions would not be lumbered with an audience age restriction.

The new less violent version of the film goes easier on the brutal details of the last days of Christ.”

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