Mel Gibson, who told a police officer once when he was drunk and Israel’s 2006 invasion of Lebanon had the front page of every media outlet: “Fucking Jews… the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the worldâ€¦” is set to direct a new film!
The Los Angeles Times reported:
“Mel Gibson, the Oscar winner who has defended himself against accusations of anti-Semitism, is developing a film for Warner Bros. about the life of Judah Maccabee, the warrior whose ancient victory is celebrated by Hanukkahâ€¦
â€¦Gibson’s Icon Productions has closed the producing deal with Warner Bros., and Joe Eszterhas will write the screenplay. Gibson’s camp said the filmmaker will decide if he’s directing after the script is done and that he has not ruled out the possibility that he could act in the filmâ€¦”
It is a good idea if you think about it.
A big budget motion picture based on Judah Maccabee. Often I’ve pondered doing a Masada remake, or better, Bar Kokhva the film, with Antonio Benderas as the megalomaniacal Shimon bar Kokhva, Kevin Spacey as the Roman emperor Hadrian and James Earl Jones as Rabbi Akiva.
So despite the fact that the guy’s an Anti-Semite, I’d pay to see the film. However, various Jewish groups are up in arms about it.
Abraham Foxman, Anti-Defamation League national director:
“Judah Maccabee is a hero of the Jewish people and a universal hero in the struggle for religious liberty, he deserves better. Itâ€™s facetious that his story is told by a person who has no respect for other peopleâ€™s religious viewpointsâ€¦”
Rabbi Marvin Hier from Los Angelesâ€™ Simon Wiesenthal Center:
â€œGibsonâ€™s plan is simply an insult to Jewish peopleâ€¦He has antagonistic viewpoint towards Jews. Casting him as a director or perhaps as the star of Judah Maccabee is like casting (Bernie) Madoff to be the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, or a white supremacist as trying to portray Martin Luther King Jr. Itâ€™s simply an insult to Jewsâ€¦”
In a recent interview in GQ, Wynona Ryder told Alex Pappademas:
“I remember, like, fifteen years ago, I was at one of those big Hollywood parties. And he was really drunk. I was with my friend, who’s gay. He made a really horrible gay joke. And somehow it came up that I was Jewish. He said something about ‘oven dodgers,’ but I didn’t get it. I’d never heard that before. It was just this weird, weird moment. I was like, ‘He’s anti-Semitic and he’s homophobic.’ No one believed me!”
So he canâ€™t deny his anti-Semitism.
Nevertheless, the church has often been interested in the various texts of the Aprocrypha, a collection of texts from Ancient Judea, largely written in Greek, which were not canonized, and in which the story is included.
Check out Jeffrey Goldberg chin-wagging Gibson over at the Atlantic.