Mel Gibson is reportedly trying to work out a deal with Warner Bros to produce a movie based on the life of Jewish icon, Judah Maccabee.
A publicist of the Lethal Weapon star disclosed that Gibson’s Icon productions will produce the film with Warner Bros. Flashdance and Basic Instinct writer Joe Eszterhas will reportedly handle the screenplay. Gibson have not yet decided if he will act or direct on the movie, but his publicist Alan Nierob told The Associated Press -- that he will decide his exact roles on the film -- after the script is finished. It has not been determined when the production will start.
"Warner Bros. would like him to direct,” the Associated Press quoted Nierob. "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."
The story of Judah Maccabee’s revolt (known as Maccabean revolt) against the Greek Syrian armies of the Seleucid Empire is celebrated by the Jewish community in the Hanukkah. The Jewish feast of “Dedication” is in honor of the Jewish worship revival in Jerusalem’s temple in 165 BCE, after Maccabee took down the pagan images and statues.
The Jewish iconic figure has fascinated Gibson for many years and has even considered to film it after 2004’s “The Passion of the Christ”. Gibson’s camp have made remarks that the planned Maccabee film will echo some of the Australian-American actor’s past films like “The Patriot” and “Braveheart”.
Gibson’s provocative views on politics and religion have made him a controversial figure in Hollywood, not discounting his other personal troubles and legal issues. He has made derogatory statements against homosexuals and once called President Bill Clinton a “low level opportunist”. He had been accused by civil rights activists for displaying behaviors of sexism, racism and anti-Semitism.
The DUI incident in July of 2006 was the most controversial for Gibson when he made anti-Semitic remarks against a Jewish arresting officer named James Mee. Gibson made numerous apologies for the incident and called the matter his "public humiliation on a global scale" and "a moment of insanity".
High profile Jewish leaders started to speak against the planned Judah Maccabee film production by Icon productions and Warner Bros.,saying -- that casting Gibson as an actor or letting him direct the Jewish historical icon -- is a big insult to the Jewish community around the world.