Mel Gibson Developing a Film About Jewish Warrior Judah Maccabee

September 9, 2011
Source: Deadline

Mel Gibson

In what seems like a move to get back in the good graces of those offended by his anti-Semitic remarks made during his highly publicized arrest in 2006, actor and filmmaker Mel Gibson is working on a film that will tell the story of Jewish warrior Judah Maccabee. Deadline reports Warner Bros. has made quite a strange move in getting Gibson to work with Basic Instinct and Showgirls writer Joe Eszterhas to script the revered story about how Maccabee 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.

Of course, religious material like this isn't outside of Gibson's wheelhouse after his tackling of The Passion of the Christ, and Maccabee isn't much of a far cry from William Wallace in Braveheart either. Frankly, I'm less confused by Gibson's hiring for this project rather than Eszterhas whose credits also include Flashdance. However, Deadline points out the writer has worked on two films with Jewish themes: "the 1987 Betrayed, which starred Debra Winger as an undercover FBI agent probing white supremacists, and 1989’s Music Box, which starred Jessica Lange whose Hungarian immigrant father is accused of engaging in atrocities during World War II." So I guess it's not all that strange of a pairing.

Personally, I'm of the mind that an actor's personal yet publicized issues don't influence my opinion of their work in front of and behind the camera. I'm always ready to see Gibson work on another film, and it sounds like in addition to helping Eszterhas write this film, he could also end up directing it. However, I was a bit more keen on his promising Viking epic that still needs to get off the ground. All I know is that The Beaver is still one of my favorite films of 2011 (read my review right here), and if Gibson can deliver just as fine an effort behind the camera, then audiences won't be disappointed.

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  • Loser
    If he is directing this it would be awesome he is a great director and this could also be way to mend the wounds of his past and get in good graces so to speak.
    • Lerryjee
       What? Didn't the beaver puppet movie make up for all the wounds of the past?
      • Loser
        I have not seen that one yet but I am going on all the hate towards him I think he is a great actor and director but the business don`t seem to forgive. I will see anything he does and know only about his drunken tirade. Who has not said stupid things when drunk especially when one is in a bad place? I meant that making a movie showing jews in a good light could be an apology and a great movie from him to start over from.
  • ShawnKeim
    Next up, the KKK will do a movie about Martin Luther King JR.
    • If that's a genuine comment, you can't even begin to make that comparison.
      • ShawnKeim
        So he hasn't said anything or done anything that would make what I said funny? Because.....I remember this one time he did this one thing.
    • J Dunbar
      ShawnKeim, STFU. 
      • ShawnKeim
        Awwww someone doesn't get the irony in what I said.
  • Info4You
    Supposedly he has been talking about this story for years.  Just read it in the Hollywood Reporter.  He loves great stories, people say things when they are upset AND drunk they DON'T MEAN. Sometimes I think people grew up in a closet.  
  • If Gibson is directing chances are it will be colossally epic.
  • Voice of Reason
    "Say what you want about Mel Gibson, but the son of a bitch knows story structure."
  • J Dunbar
    Gibbo is a great Gentile director in an industry that has far too many of the opposite kind. I will support his film both at the box office and bluray. I'm sure the studio would appreciate that. All I ask is that this does NOT star Shia LaBeouf. Get a Gentile to play a Jew since there's so many Jews playing Gentiles these days. 
    • dee
      I hope by "Jews playing Gentiles" you're talking about Logan Lerman in The Three Musketeers, Joseph Gordon-Levitt in whatever, Andrew Garfield in Spider-Man, and so on. And not to hideous half-Jew Shia Labeouf.
      • Legion
        Guess I won't be watching Spider-Man. F'n Hollywood. Ruining my childhood heroes.
        • dee
          Spider-Man was created by Stan Lee, who is obviously Jewish. Every single important comic book character was created by a Jew (okay, except for Spawn :-). I imagine most of your childhood heroes were either created by Jews or played by Jews. So I don't get your point.
  • john
    Does anyone else think this might be a desperate PR move on the part of Gibson - a film about a Jewish warrior? I usually agree with Alex that an individual's personal life does not influence my view of their professional work, but in my view Gibson has screwed up too many times and I'm not sure I can support his work.
  • happy camper
    Gibson is a great director.
  • Lebowski
    This won't convince anybody, Mel. Once you cross that line, you don't get to go back over it just because you are making a movie.
    • Mad Mel
  • GMA
    what? Jewish>? Warrior>? lol, not possible !!!!
  • Hollywood is so transparent it's like glass. What's a holocaust denial between friends? Move on.
  • Boiler Bro Joe
    A director's "personal issues" that shouldn't affect one's opinion of his/her filmmaking would be something along the lines of family conflicts or drug problems.  But Mel Gibson's rants (remember, there was more than one) go beyond personal issues.  Anyone who respects film as more than a form of entertainment knows that it is very much an extension of someone's political and social worldview.  So I sure as hell CAN judge Mel Gibson's films by his comments about Jews and African Americans. Honestly, we need to move past this idea that we need to defend someone because we liked or respected their movies in the past.  (*cough* Polanski *cough*).  Sure, there's a chance that Mel Gibson was a victim of some crazy new form of alcohol which makes people say terribly racist things that they've never thought before, but it's unlikely.  What's more likely is that he's putting this movie on the fast track to repair his tarnished image and to continue making boatloads of money. I'm a very forgiving person.  I think that if Mel Gibson is truly regretful about what he said/believed in the past, and wants to personally do something for the community he offended, he has the right to direct this movie.  But if that's the case, he sure as hell better hire a lot of Jewish talent (besides actors).  And then he should take the union minimum pay and donate the rest of his cut to charities fighting religious persecution.  Problem solved, Mel.
  • Josh
    I hope someone throws a bucket of acid on Mel Gibson's face. If he wants to apologize....there is only one form of apology that I would apology/suicide. If he says, "I'm sorry" and then puts a gun to his head and pulls the trigger.....then I'll say, "OK, now I forgive you". Anything short of an apology suicide is unacceptable. Mel's involvement in this project is almost as bad as the KKK doing a movie on Martin Luther King, Jr. That wold be making a mockery out of MLK, Jr - and this film project is making a mockery out of Judah Maccabee. Remember, Mel doesn't just HATE Jews, he also has no respect for women, and is racist who throws the "N" word around like it's funny when the cameras aren't rolling. His other statements about blacks are so disgusting that any sane person would almost vomit. Mel Giblon represtents the worst of humanity. He is a spineless drunk with a disgusting sence of entitlement. Mel, who stands about 5'7" (shorter than the 5'9" he claims) and weighs about 165 pounds, has no business playing any sort of warrior of any kind. The fact that he's gotten away with it his whole career demonstrates two things: the amazing work of camera men and special affects and the fact that Mel has a serious Napoleon complex and needs to feel as if he could actually beat someone up (sorry Mel, you couldn't beat up the female police officer that arrested you for your DUI).
    • peloquin
      You're right, Mel Gibson is just misunderstood and deserves a second chance.  The Beaver was pretty great.




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