Mel Gibson could not get any studio to fund ‘Passion of the Christ’. Instead of scrapping the film, he chose to finance it all by himself, an action which analysts labelled as “idiotic”. He spent $45M on the project and went on to make over $475M because he didn’t have to split the profits.

The Passion of the Christ

Gibson began production on his film without securing outside funding or distribution. In 2002, he explained why he could not get backing from the Hollywood studios: “This is a film about something that nobody wants to touch, shot in two dead languages.” Gibson and his company Icon Productions provided the film’s sole backing, spending about $30 million on production costs and an estimated $15 million on marketing. After early accusations of antisemitism, it became difficult for Gibson to find an American distribution company. 20th Century Fox initially had a first-look deal with Icon but decided to pass on the film in response to public protests. In order to avoid the spectacle of other studios turning down the film and to avoid subjec… Continue Reading (21 minute read)

8 thoughts on “Mel Gibson could not get any studio to fund ‘Passion of the Christ’. Instead of scrapping the film, he chose to finance it all by himself, an action which analysts labelled as “idiotic”. He spent $45M on the project and went on to make over $475M because he didn’t have to split the profits.”

  1. attorneyatslaw

    No one wanted to touch a controversial religious movie after the Last Temptation of Christ lost a bunch of money. Plus, Mel Gibson insisted on shooting the movie in Aramaic and Latin.

  2. Calm_Butterfly_2412

    If I remember correctly, he made even more money than Spielberg that year. Those execs just missed out on one of the biggest paydays of their lives lol.

  3. RudegarWithFunnyHat

    never saw it, felt there had been too many spoilers

  4. vadermaybelater

    I watched the South Park episode about it, if that counts.

  5. cashwin6

    Hard to ignore the myriad of controversies surrounding Gibson but it’s also hard to deny that he’s bloody talented.

  6. otiswrath

    Fun fact: If you love the Marvel movies you can thank Jesus and Mel Gibson.

    Jon Favreau was dead set on RDJ being Iron Man but they couldn’t get anyone to insure the making of the film because of RDJ’s history. Mel Gibson and RDJ have been close friends since Air America and Mel was neck deep in that sweet sweet Passion of the Christ money so he independently insured the making of Iron Man effectively kicking off not only the MCU but steering blockbuster film making for the next 20 years.

    You love Endgame? Thank Jesus and Mel Gibson.

  7. arachnidtree

    I would love to see some classic Studio Interference in that film.

    “test audiences say the ending is dark, we want a happy ending. Judas returns and says he is sorry, and releases Jesus from the crucifix, Judas, the rest of the Apostles, fight off the guards by throwing fish at them (lots a fish!). They escape to the south of France. (Jesus starts a winery)

    Jesus and Mary Magdeline get married with Judas as the best man (who playfully pretends to have forgotten the ring). Then Jesus and Mary ride an old timey bicycle while Raindrops are Falling on My Head plays, fade to credits.

  8. InOutUpDownLeftRight

    Mel Gibson is a terrific filmmaker. Especially Apocalypto- it is an amazing film. With all the money he made from Passion- he should’ve just self funded his films afterwards. But he has directed one film since Apocalypto (2006) because of his DUI apocalypse. What a shame. Haven’t seen Hacksaw Ridge yet.

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