Friday, September 9, 2011
Oy vey! Mel Gibson signs on to work on Jewish folk hero film
It's another Chanukah miracle!
Mel Gibson, who's almost as famous for his 2006 anti-Semitic diatribe as he is for his film career, is working on a movie about a legendary Jewish warrior, according to Deadline.
Gibson, 55, is teaming up with screenwriter Joe Eszterhas to produce and possibly direct a film about Judah Maccabee, who lead an army against Greek-Syrian forces in the second century B.C. and whose reclaiming of a temple -- along with a miracle or two -- is the basis of the celebration of Chanukah.
It might not be as strange a fit as it seems, however.
Religion epics seem to be his specialty considering Gibson directed 2004's "The Passion of the Christ," a film about the last 12 hours of the life of Jesus Christ, and 2006's "Apocalypto," about a man's struggles with his 16th-century Mayan culture.
Regardless, not everyone is pleased with the decision.
Abraham H. Foxman, the National Director of the Anti-Defamation League, has voiced with displeasure.
"We would have hoped that Warner Bros. could have found someone better than Mel Gibson to direct or perhaps even star in a film on the life of the Jewish historical icon Judah Maccabee," Foxman said in a statement. "As a hero of the Jewish people and a universal hero in the struggle for religious liberty, Judah Maccabee deserves better. It would be a travesty to have the story of the Maccabees told by one who has no respect and sensitivity for other people’'religious views. "
This bit of controversy is the latest for Gibson, whose expletive-laced Malibu tirade and 2009 split with wife Robyn have made the past few years a bit of a rocky road.
In June, the actor stepped out with a new girlfriend, model Stella Mouzi, 25, and just last month settled a lawsuit with ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva, 41, for $750,000, a far cry from the $15 million she originally demanded