Director: Mel Gibson
Stars: Jim Caviezel, Monica Bellucci, Maia Morgenstern
Plot: A depiction of the last twelve hours in the life of Jesus of Nazareth, on the day of his crucifixion in Jerusalem.
Jim Caviezel experienced a shoulder separation when the 150lb cross dropped on his shoulder. The scene is still in the movie.
Jim Caviezel required heart surgery after the completion of The Passion, following the extreme stress in the making of this film and the several accidental injuries received. Rumor has it that director Mel Gibson paid for all bills from the procedure, as a sign of his gratitude and an apology for putting him through that.
During the scourging scene, Jim Caviezel accidentally got whipped twice. The first time knocked the wind out of him, and the second time hurt so much it caused him wrench his hand quickly from his shackles, scraping his wrist badly. The remainder of the scourging scenes were finished by using visual effects: the actors playing Roman soldiers held sticks without the leather tails, and acted out the whipping motion, while Caviezel would react as if hit. The tails were later digitally composited into the shots. Make-up wounds on Caviezel's body were digitally covered until the actual hit by the whip, creating the illusion that they suddenly appeared.
In one scene while hanging on the Cross, Jim Caviezel can be seen to have a blue colouration of skin. This was not a special effect, but a case of asphyxiation, the cause of death for crucified victims.
Because of their experiences during film production, many of the cast and filming crew converted to Catholicism after the completion of the film. Among those who converted was an atheist who played Judas Iscariot.
Originally, the second confrontation between Pilate and the Sanhedrin included a line where the Sanhedrin say, "His blood be on our heads and on the heads of our children!" Although this line comes from the Gospels, Mel Gibson removed the subtitle of the line to avoid further allegations of the movie having an anti-Semitic message. The actual line in Aramaic was left in the movie.
Jim Caviezel was given a prosthetic nose and a raised hairline. His blue eyes were digitally changed to brown on film.
According to Mel Gibson, Maia Morgenstern, who played Mary, was pregnant during the shoot. She didn't tell anyone, until one day she approached Jim Caviezel (Jesus) and said in broken English and a thick Romanian accent, "I have baby. In stomach."
Maia Morgenstern, who plays Mary (mother of Jesus), is only six years older than Jim Caviezel.
Macaulay Culkin was Mel Gibson's first choice for Jesus.
While shooting the film Jim Caviezel realized that his name and Jesus Christ share the same initials. Also he was the same age most historians and religious scholars claim Jesus was when he was killed (33).
Mel Gibson's hands nail Christ to the cross during the Crucifixion scene. Gibson said "It was me that put him on the cross. It was my sins" that put him there. According to special edition commentaries, Gibson also supplied the foot of Jesus (washed by Mary Magdalene) and the arms that tie Judas' suicide rope.
In an interview with Newsweek magazine, Jim Caviezel spoke about a few of the difficulties he experienced while filming. This included being accidentally whipped twice, which has left a 14-inch scar on his back. Caviezel also admitted he was struck by lightning while filming the Sermon on the Mount and during the crucifixion, experienced hypothermia during the dead of winter in Italy.