Mel Gibson in line to direct Passion of the Christ sequel

A sequel to The Passion of the Christ is being written after it was confirmed Mel Gibson has teamed up with Braveheart screenwriter Randall Wallace for the project.

The follow up to the Oscar nominated Hollywood hit will focus on Jesus' resurrection after the 2004 film told the story of the week leading up to the crucifixion and Jesus' death. Wallace confirmed the venture to The Hollywood Reporter and said it had become too difficult to keep the project secret.

Mel Gibson directed the 2004 epic 'The Passion of the Christ' which focused especially on Jesus' last 12 hours20th Century Fox

Wallace studied religion at Duke University and says the resurrection was a special topic for him.

"I always wanted to tell this story," he told THR. "The Passion is the beginning and there's a lot more story to tell."

Gibson and Wallace have previously partnered for Hacksaw Ridge, a second world war film which Gibson directed and Wallace co-wrote. Wallace said he and Gibson started to seriously consider a sequel for The Passion while they made Hacksaw Ridge together.

Mel Gibson directs actor Jim Caviezel in 'The Passion' but has struggled since he was arrested drink driving in 2005.

Rumours of a follow-up began when Gibson was a surprise guest at the evangelical Liberty University's graduation ceremony to do an advance screening of Hacksaw Ridge, which will come out in November.

Gibson expressed an interest when he was asked about a sequel to The Passion and Wallace said the demand from Christians influenced their decision.

"The evangelical community considers The Passion the biggest movie ever out of Hollywood, and they kept telling us that they think a sequel will be even bigger," said Wallace.

Gibson's career took a hit in 2006 when he was arrested for drink driving in California. He unleashed a torrent of racist and sexist abuse against the police officers and has struggled to make a comeback since.

But this project, which is still in the script stage, may complete his return. No studio or financial support has been secured for the film but Wallace was not concerned. "It's too early to talk about money," said Wallace. "This is such a huge and sacred topic."

If the sequel is anything like the first film, the pair will have no trouble securing support. The Passion was released in 2004 and earned $612 million from a $30 million budget. The film won a number of awards and producers have clamoured for a sequel ever since.