It seems that PaleoJudaica may not have seen the last of Mel.
The first rumor flitting through the evangelical world is that the filmmaker intends to plow the profits from The Passion into a movie about the central characters of the holiday of Hanukkah, fighters called the Maccabees. Their story is told in sacred writings of the biblical period, although the two books of the same name are not officially a part of either testament.
Nearly 200 years before Jesus' birth, religious Jews in the land of Israel rose in violent rebellion against pagan occupiers and their Jewish allies.
The Maccabean uprising was sparked when a government official compelled a Jew to offer a pagan sacrifice. This sacrilegious act enraged a pious man named Mattathias, who killed the collaborator and the official with his sword, and then shouted to the crowd: "Whoever is for the Lord, follow me!"
Mattathias led his five sons and their followers into the hills, from which they launched a protracted guerrilla war, led by his son Judah, a brilliant military tactician. Bloody battles and torture ensued, as the outnumbered believers wore down their enemies, some of whom rode into the fray on armored elephants.
Maybe he can recycle the sets from The Return of the King.
In the end, after Mattathias died and several of his sons were killed in battle, the orthodox Jewish believers triumphed and the temple in Jerusalem was cleansed and restored to holiness. According to tradition, a remnant of sanctified oil in the temple lamp miraculously burned for eight days, until more could be found.
And here's another suggestion:
Last week, the American-born Israeli educator Yossi Katz suggested that Gibson's next film should be a dramatization of the Bar Kochba Revolt of A.D. 132-135. This rebellion took place a century after Jesus' death, and 60 years after a failed uprising against the Roman occupation that led to half a million Jewish deaths and the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem.
Well, the gore potential in either should meet Mel's standards. What's next: 4 Maccabees, The Movie?