Mel Gibson plans to produce film on Jewish hero
By CHRISTY LEMIRE, AP Movie Writer – 1 hour ago
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Mel Gibson, who reportedly made anti-Semitic remarks during a drunken driving arrest five years ago, is now producing a film about the life of Jewish hero Judah Maccabee.
Gibson's publicist, Alan Nierob, told The Associated Press Friday that Gibson is working on a deal with Warner Bros. to develop the film through his company, Icon Productions. What Gibson's exact role will be — whether he might direct or even star in the film — hasn't been determined.
"Warner Bros. would like him to direct," Nierob said. "He is the first choice for the studio to direct it, but until there's a deal in place and a script that's finished, it will be his choice as to whether to direct it or not."
Joe Eszterhas of "Basic Instinct" and "Flashdance" fame is writing the script. No timetable is in place for it to be completed and for production to begin.
But Gibson's involvement with bringing Maccabee's story to the screen in any form has angered some Jewish leaders. Maccabee, who's acclaimed as one of the greatest warriors in Jewish history, helped inspire the celebration of Hanukkah.
Gibson, the Oscar-winning director of "Braveheart," has defended himself against accusations of anti-Semitism ever since his 2006 drunken driving arrest, in which a deputy's report revealed Gibson made Jewish and sexist slurs while in custody.Last month, he reached a $750,000 settlement with his ex-girlfriend, Russian musician Oksana Grigorieva, and agreed to continue providing housing and financial support for their young daughter to resolve a bitter legal fight that followed sexist, racist rants attributed to the actor.
Okay, folks....is this duo the right one to make a movie like this? Does it matter what someone's background is?