The controversy surrounding Mel Gibson's upcoming movie THE PASSION OF CHRIST has been credited getting a film about JUDAS ISCARIOT to American TV screens next month (MAR04).

The makers of JUDAS, which features Christina Applegate's husband JOHNATHAN SCHAECH in the title role, have waited more than two years for bosses at TV network ABC to give it a debut date, now confirmed as 8 March.

And Schaech believes the attention applied to Gibson's movie has prompted bosses to take a chance and release the film.

He notes, "You can't compare a $5 million (GBP2.9 million) film to a $20 million (GBP11.7 million) film. I'm small compared to Mel Gibson. I think that's why it's going to be given a chance. It's not a question of whether it's any good or what my performance is like."

But the film - which features JONATHAN SCARFE as JESUS and JIM MATHESON as PONTIUS PILATE - may raise a few eyebrows, adds Schaech, who explains, "Judas is a very controversial character. To make him human and give him a heart is a risky thing to do."

03/02/2004 10:43