A Passion For Profits

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Mel Gibson's controversial The Passion Of The Christ has earned $250 million at the U.S. box office in just three weeks. Reverent Hollywood moguls are now combing through the Scriptures for other projects with religious themes. ABC started the procession with its long-shelved telefilm Judas, left, which aired to middling ratings a week ago. Film versions of the best seller The Da Vinci Code (to be directed by Ron Howard) and The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis' Christian-themed children's epic, are also in the works. More fare for the faithful is on the way.

Reality-show producer Mark Burnett has just optioned Lewis Perdue's religious thriller about a female messiah

Anthony Quinn starred in a 1962 biopic about the thief set free in place of Jesus. A major producer is pitching a remake

Shooting will begin later in the month on this pilot for an NBC mini-series, a modern take on the biblical struggle between God and the Devil

Ridley Scott will direct this epic of the Crusades, starring Orlando Bloom and Jeremy Irons, scheduled for a May 2005 release