American actors Mark Wahlberg and Mel Gibson are the main characters in a Hollywood film about a Catholic priest that has now started filming. As reported by several Christian US media in the past few days, the film aims to trace the life of Stuart Long, who died in 2014 and who wanted to make a career as a boxer and actor before embarking on a spiritual career. The main role is played by Wahlberg, who is also listed as one of the producers, while Gibson takes on the part of Long’s father. It is not yet known when the film will be released.
According to the reports, Wahlberg had started work on the film back in 2016. After that, the plans were put on hold for a few years before Wahlberg was able to win over Rosalind Ross, Mel Gibson’s partner, as a screenwriter. Although the exact details of the script were not disclosed, the filmmakers had given assurances that the film would “do the deceased priest the honor”.
Boxers, actors – and priests
Stuart Long, later often just called “Father Stu”, attended a Catholic college in the US state of Montana as a young adult. There he started boxing, but gave up after an injury. He then moved to Los Angeles to start an acting career. However, this had only moderate success. After a serious motorcycle accident, he was baptized and decided to become a priest. For this he entered the seminary in 2003. While he was still studying theology, he was diagnosed with a rare degenerative muscle disease. Long used crutches when he was ordained a priest. He performed his priestly service in the US diocese of Helena with the help of a motorized wheelchair. He died in 2014 at the age of 50.
Mark Wahlberg and Mel Gibson both publicly profess their Catholic faith. Wahlberg said in an interview in 2010 that being a Catholic is the most important thing in his life. Prayer and going to church were part of his daily routine. At the 2015 World Family Meeting in Philadelphia, Wahlberg shared the stage with Pope Francis in a speech. According to his own statement, Wahlberg asked the Pope for forgiveness for his role in the comedies “Ted” and “Ted 2”. Mel Gibson produced the 2004 film “The Passion of the Christ”. With grossing over 600 million US dollars, it is one of the most successful religious films of all time. Nevertheless, he was criticized from the start. In addition to accusations of anti-Semitism, the excessive portrayal of violence in particular caused a number of controversies. A sequel to the film was announced a few years ago. It is not yet known when this will be completed and published. (times)