Mel Gibson’s comeback gathers pace today now that The Hollywood Reporter brings word the actor-director has entered negotiations to headline Every Other Weekend, a CIA spy thriller that will place Gibson in the boots of a veteran agent.
French filmmaker Benjamin Rocher is the director attached at the helm, enlisting producing support from Clement Miserez, Jean-Charles Levy and Peter Safran of The Conjuring fame. A late-year start is the goal.
As for story underpinning Rocher’s actioner, Every Other Weekend follows a father “who has his son convinced he’s a CIA spy, but in actuality he works in the agency’s IT department. However, on a father-son trip in Paris, the two find themselves in a life-threatening adventure in which secrets are spilled.” It’s understood Gibson is circling the role of the Grandfather in the French thriller, the overriding patriarch of the family who is harboring a secret or three of his own. Brandon and Curtis Birtell wrote the original script, before Davis Moreau and Tad Safran were brought aboard to fine-tune.
At least based on that fleeting pitch, Rocher’s international thrill ride isn’t likely to revolutionize the genre anytime soon. What it does offer, though, is another chance for Mel Gibson to bolster his presence in the industry and, one would hope, continue to course-correct his public image.
Looking further down the pipeline, there a number of fairly major features with Gibson’s name on the masthead. The first, and arguably most important of the bunch, is Hacksaw Ridge, an atypical WWII drama that is enjoying strong buzz ahead of awards season. It’s also Gibson’s first directorial effort in more than a decade, with Apocalypto being the last. The Professor and the Madman is another project lining the actor-director’s slate.
Every Other Weekend is expected to enter production before the year’s end in the French capital. A 2017 theatrical release appears to be the target.