VATICAN CITY - Movie director Mel Gibson has turned down a request from the Vatican to have an advance look of his movie about the last hours of Jesus of Nazareth, the film's producer said yesterday.
The Pontifical Council for Culture asked for the showing in the context of a congress here on the theme "Christ and the Cinema," which has brought together experts from Roman Catholic universities around the world.
Producer Nick Hill said the film was not ready for showing because Gibson was in the cutting room "softening" the most violent images of the crucifixion of Jesus.
Yesterday there was a report in the Daily Mirror that a special screening next week had been arranged for the Pope. It sounds as though the refused Vatican screening is something different, but I can't tell for sure from the available information.