Oh deary me Mel Gibson. After accusations of anti-Semitism pretty much sunk his career, he’s been struggling to rehabilitate his image. Last year’s The Beaver, a film about a man who loses his mind and can only communicate through a talking hand puppet, was more like a documentary than a drama and didn’t make quite the splash at the box office that he’d hoped.
Well, there’s more bad news. His forthcoming new project, The Maccabees, a biopic of the Jewish warrior Judah Maccabee has just had its script rejected by Warner Bros.
Joe Eszterhas (Basic Instinct, Jade), had written the screeplay, which saw an underdog army fighting against oppression – familiar territory for Gibson. It was set in 165 BC, where Maccabee led his countryman in revolt against the Seleucid Empire which had outlawed Jewish pratices. Sounds like is would have been a chance for Mel to paint himself blue and flash his bum at an entire nation all over again. Eszterhas is more than a little cheesed off, but he’s laying the blame solely at Gibson’s feet, accusing him once again of anti-Semitism.
“I’ve come to the conclusion that the reason you won’t make ‘The Maccabees’ is the ugliest possible one. You hate Jews.” he said in an angry letter. You can read the full letter over at The Wrap.
Warners are remaining schtum about details, only saying that they didn’t think the script was up to standard. There was much outcry from Jewish groups and the Anti-Defamation League when the film was announced in the first place, so it’s possible that Warners don’t fancy taking the heat. Quite whether another studio will take a gamble also remains to be seen, but the future doesn’t look too rosy for Mel Gibson’s career.