Remember when Mel Gibson was a box office superstar and Robert Downey Jr. was a washed up talent that no one in Hollywood would bet a dollar on? My how the tables have turned. With Downey now the proverbial king of the hill thanks to his billion dollar role in the Marvel Universe, the actor understandably wants to pay back some of the friends who gave him their support in those somewhat more hectic personal times. How’s he going to do that, you ask? Well, by getting them plum parts in Marvel movies, of course. There’s only one problem though, one of the people Downey wants to bring along into Avengers: Age of Ultron, the upcoming sequel to The Avengers, is Mel Gibson. And no, we don’t mean Melvin L. “Mel” Gibson who played one season with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1963. We mean the other one.
According to one source from Marvel Studios (via Radar Online), Downey’s been trying to use his clout as the biggest member of the Avengers super-team to do some career rehab for Gibson and give a box office boost to Jodie Foster.
“Robert is raising eyebrows with his efforts on behalf of his longtime best pals Jodie Foster and Mel Gibson,” the source told Radar. “He wants to bring Mel and Jodie into the Marvel universe, preferably in one of the Avengers films. It’s been a longtime dream of Robert’s to help Mel and Jodie reach similar big box office heights like the ones he’s achieved in recent years.”
While it’s doubtful that Marvel Studios would have a problem with the Academy Award winning and tremendously talented Foster joining their Cinematic Universe in some capacity, it seems pretty far-fetched that Gibson would be invited to play.
“Marvel is run by one of the richest and most prominent Israeli businessmen in Hollywood, and you can be sure even if Robert got down on his knees and begged, there’s no place for Mel in the Marvel films,” the source added.
Downey’s recently sealed deal to reprise the role of Iron Man/Tony Stark for Age of Ultron apparently allows the actor to “consult on future parts of the Iron Man franchise.” It appears that he is using this clause to try and bring Gibson and Foster into the fold. During his own troubles, Downey was cast by Foster in her 1995 film Home for the Holidays, and he was later cast in the 2003 movie The Singing Detective, which Gibson produced. Still, it seems pretty unlikely that a huge conglomerate like Disney would rubber stamp Gibson for even a small role in their mega-successful franchise, even if he were to voice a alien lifeform that looks like a giant tree and has one line.
Gibson is still doing penance for a 2006 incident where he was pulled over by a police officer for driving under the influence while having an open bottle of alcohol in the vehicle, an incident which ended with him launching into a drunken tirade that included an anti-Semitic slur about how Jewish people were responsible for all the wars in the world. Since then, he’s had three acting roles and his once promising directing career has been severely derailed.
Downey’s pitch to Marvel, if true, wouldn’t be the first time he publicly gave Gibson some career rehab, as the actor requested Gibson to be the one to give him an award at the 25th annual American Cinematsheque Awards in 2011. At the ceremony, Downey said the following:
“I humbly ask that you join me, unless you are completely without sin, and in which case you picked the wrong f***ing industry, in forgiving my friend of his trespasses and offering him the same clean slate that you have me and allowing him to continue his great and ongoing contribution to our collective art without shame.”
So, will Downey successfully advocate on behalf of his friends? Is Gibson still toxic? What does he have to do to convince movie fans to let him have a genuine comeback in Avengers: Age of Ultron? Sound off with your thoughts and opinions below.