(UP) Mel Gibson announced today that he will be stepping back from the director's chair for the sequel to last spring's biblical box office smash 'The Passion of the Christ.' Gibson has decided to hand the reigns over to horror guru Wes Craven in a move that stunned the Christian Community.
'Passion2: I Know What You Did Last Easter' is slated for release in spring 2005 and will feature, in Craven's words "A very vengeful Christ."
"We're going a whole new direction," said Craven, " Jesus has risen and he's really mad. The film will revolve around a group of teenage Jewish kids whose parents had (Jesus) crucified. The fun starts when they get picked off one by one, J.C. style."
When asked if money had anything to do with the decision to make a sequel or the dramatic departure from actual scripture, Gibson, who will remain on the project as an executive producer, said, "Of course not. I just wanted to give Wes the chance to make the movie he wanted to make. I was sceptical at first, but when he got to the part about Christ hunting down the Jews...well, hey I knew we had something. Besides, movies like 'Spiderman' and 'Harry Potter' don't follow the source material word for word, so I felt we could take some license in this case."
It was still unclear weather Jim Caviezel would return as Jesus, but Robert "Freddy Kruger" Englund is rumored to have been tapped to fill the robes should Caviezel pass.