Of all the things you never thought would happen. Disgraced actor and accused anti-semite Mel Gibson is planning to work on a film about a Jewish hero Judah Maccabee. Plus, the man behind the screenplay will be Joe Eszterhas, who was effectively made famous by erotic thrillers and torched his career with the “cult classic” but the truthfully “bloody awful” Showgirls.
The film will be about Maccabee, who teamed with his father and four brothers to lead the Jewish revolt against the Greek-Syrian armies that had conquered Judea in the second century B.C.
Maccabee’s fight for his people’s right to worship is celebrated by Jews all over the world through Hanukkah. Gibson will definitely produce the film and has eyes to direct under his Icon Productions banner, with the project set up at Warner Bros.
The man is apparently keen to get working again after his numerous anti-semitic outbursts and apparent emotional breakdown made massive headlines last year. It does fit very nicely into Gibson’s directorial oeuvre: big, widely scoped historical epic with lashings of horror-tastic gore. And this is a story he’s apparently wanted to tell for a very long time, he even talked about it after a rant which got him into bother in 2006 when Apocalypto was released.
Eszterhas and Gibson have some really bad times behind them but they make an interesting pair, and this project is definitely one to watch. Gibson can be a great director, he can also be an aggravating one. At his best, it’s Apocalypto, which is clearly the work of a megalomaniac but is one hell of an action movie. At his worst, there’s Braveheart, a historical film which bears no relation to any history I ever learnt and despite all the battle sequences, is actually quite boring.
Let’s just hope that Gibson will continue his auteur mark of brutally mad, entertaining violence and that Eszterhas has become a better writer of dialogue. We’ll keep you updated on this intriguing project as we get more updated.