Palaces For The People
Thursday, October 23, 2003
Jesus actor struck by lightning
Jim Caviezel (left) was struck by lightning while filming
Actor Jim Caviezel has been struck by lightning while playing Jesus in Mel Gibson's controversial film The Passion Of Christ.
The lightning bolt hit Caviezel and the film's assistant director Jan Michelini while they were filming in a remote location a few hours from Rome.
It was the second time Michelini had been hit by lightning during the shoot.
Neither of them was badly hurt, according to the film's producer Steve McEveety.
Michelini had previously been struck during filming in Matera, Italy, when he suffered light burns to his fingers after lightning hit his umbrella.
Describing the second lightning strike, McEveety told VLife, a supplement of the trade paper Variety: "I'm about a hundred feet away from them when I glance over and see smoke coming out of Caviezel's ears."
The Passion Of Christ, which was filmed in the ancient languages of Latin and Aramaic, is directed and co-written by actor Mel Gibson and focuses on the last 12 hours in the life of Jesus.
Although it is not due for release until early next year, it has already hit headlines after Jewish figures in the United States slated it for being "dangerous" and portraying Jews in a negative way.
Originally titled The Passion, the film changed its title last week after Miramax claimed the rights to the title for one of its own projects, a historical epic based on a Jeanette Winterson novel.
The film now looks set to be released in the States by independent distributors Newmarket Films, who released Memento and Whale Rider in the US.