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Details emerge from Warner Bros. rejected Joe Eszterhas screenplay, M.C.K.B.I.

Apr. 16, 2012by: Alex Maidy

Last week we reported on the brouhaha between screenwriter Joe Eszterhas and director Mel Gibson over the proposed big screen telling of the Judah Maccabee story (Hanukkah, for the laypersons). The story has devolved into a he-said/he-tape recorded battle between the two. But, the reasoning behind Warner Bros. and Gibson rejecting the screenplay was that it was not very good.

Well, the script has leaked and snippets have made their way online. And, from what is out there, it sounds pretty damn good.

The Eszterhas telling of the 2nd century B.C. biblical tale of a group of five brothers, sons of the high priest Mattathias, who band together to fight the anti-Jewish occupation of Israel by the Greek-Syrian ruler, Antiochus, is entitled M.C.K.B.I. (Get it? it sounds like Maccabee!).

The screenplay is described as exceedingly violent and graphic and compared to THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, BRAVEHEART, AND THE TERMINATOR. Here is a sample from the script:

Ramses turns to run, but Judah is on him...Ramses falls. Judah kills him with his bare hands - lifting him by the neck and snapping it suddenly. Judah gets up and faces the other mercenaries. He is a crazed, furious, dervish - explosive, a killing machine. The mercenaries have shields, swords, and shovel-like spears. Judah draws his knife. He is a fighting machine at full roar.

That sounds pretty in line with Mel's type of action. And this sample monologue from Judah Maccabee sounds very much like the Jewish Braveheart that Gibson was aiming for.

We will be free! The day will come when well be free! We will be free to pray to our God! We will be free to educate our children! We will never have to bend our knee to anyone but our Lord! The day will come when well be strong and mighty, strong enough to defeat anyone - anyone! - who wants to wipe us off the face of the earth. (He puts his clenched fist up into the air and bows his head.)

In the end, the script is a first draft which raises the question as to why it was rejected outright. The status quo in Hollywood is to take a script and polish it to the point that the original author may not even be credited in the end. We may never know the final reasoning behind why this project fell apart, but it definitely raises questions as to why this story is so hard to get made.

Extra Tidbit: When I was a kid in Hebrew school, we watched RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK as the only popcorn film about Judaism that did not involve the Holocaust. We need another. Make this movie!
Source: The Wrap

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-4
9:50AM on 04/17/2012

Hmmm

Well... I wasn't the least bit surprised that WB had said this guys writing wasn't very good... considering his previous works. But based on what I'm seeing here, this sounds, while not very well written, a lot better than I would've expected, and definitely better than a lot of action scripts out there. With action films, the script isn't usually that great. They are usually pretty damn bad actually. It all depends on the story, and the directors vision. In this case, I think the director
Well... I wasn't the least bit surprised that WB had said this guys writing wasn't very good... considering his previous works. But based on what I'm seeing here, this sounds, while not very well written, a lot better than I would've expected, and definitely better than a lot of action scripts out there. With action films, the script isn't usually that great. They are usually pretty damn bad actually. It all depends on the story, and the directors vision. In this case, I think the director may very well have had no vision. I'm still not sure whether I believe Eszerthas or his story 100%, but I do think based on this small part could've led to an accurate, entertaining, and possibly epic film. Too bad this thing will probably never make it to the screen because of all this shit.
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+12
11:41PM on 04/16/2012

Hmmm

Can we all come to an Agreement? The agreement will be that The Wrap obviously has some Mel Gibson hate issues going on. Like 9 of their last 10 breaking stories have all been from Sharon Waxman regarding news directly from Joe Eszterhas's lips against Mel Gibson. It's so painfully obvious someone over at The Wrap is on a crusade for Martin Riggs blood.

Let's all agree to take the website where right next to the headline: "Mel Gibson hates Jews," is the headline: "Does Maya Rudolph Poop in
Can we all come to an Agreement? The agreement will be that The Wrap obviously has some Mel Gibson hate issues going on. Like 9 of their last 10 breaking stories have all been from Sharon Waxman regarding news directly from Joe Eszterhas's lips against Mel Gibson. It's so painfully obvious someone over at The Wrap is on a crusade for Martin Riggs blood.

Let's all agree to take the website where right next to the headline: "Mel Gibson hates Jews," is the headline: "Does Maya Rudolph Poop in the Street?!" with a gigantic grain of salt.

They are tabloid rags at best.
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12:35AM on 04/17/2012
It's likely a bid to generate traffic for its website (a website I had never heard of before all this) more than a personal vendetta. It would appear that the entire thing has been orchestrated by Ezterhas and TheWrap.
It's likely a bid to generate traffic for its website (a website I had never heard of before all this) more than a personal vendetta. It would appear that the entire thing has been orchestrated by Ezterhas and TheWrap.
+13
8:39PM on 04/16/2012
There was a similar scene in the menacingly powerful film Major Payne. In the scene his buddy Bubba just had his legs blown off and were kicking really fast and said "Payne...I can't feel muh legs!" But soon Payne was surrounded and all he had left was his side arm to blast his way out of there and then came the battle cry "AHHHHHHHHH!"
There was a similar scene in the menacingly powerful film Major Payne. In the scene his buddy Bubba just had his legs blown off and were kicking really fast and said "Payne...I can't feel muh legs!" But soon Payne was surrounded and all he had left was his side arm to blast his way out of there and then came the battle cry "AHHHHHHHHH!"
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10:56PM on 04/16/2012
I'm raising my glass to you cupajoe. Cheers!!! Lol.
I'm raising my glass to you cupajoe. Cheers!!! Lol.
+22
8:11PM on 04/16/2012

Oh Come on

So one paragraph of violence means that the rest of the 250 pages is good? From that one paragraph, and the single monologue you can tell it would be like Braveheart, or as great?

Listen despite what ppl think of Mel, his ability to make incredible films should not be questioned. Now why don't we just let him decide how he will make this film, especially if it's going to be his penance to the Jewish community. Im sure he wants this movie to be absolutely perfect, so as to properly convey
So one paragraph of violence means that the rest of the 250 pages is good? From that one paragraph, and the single monologue you can tell it would be like Braveheart, or as great?

Listen despite what ppl think of Mel, his ability to make incredible films should not be questioned. Now why don't we just let him decide how he will make this film, especially if it's going to be his penance to the Jewish community. Im sure he wants this movie to be absolutely perfect, so as to properly convey his apology.
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7:59PM on 04/16/2012

Poor persecuted Mel Gibson

Leave Mel Alone! Hasn't he suffered enough? Jews are responsible for ruining all the good movies. Sugar tits.
Leave Mel Alone! Hasn't he suffered enough? Jews are responsible for ruining all the good movies. Sugar tits.
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7:23PM on 04/16/2012
So your idea of a good script is violence ? What if there is no character development ? What if the characters are not consistent ? What if ... oh never mind.
So your idea of a good script is violence ? What if there is no character development ? What if the characters are not consistent ? What if ... oh never mind.
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8:12PM on 04/16/2012
i think people want to hate on him so badly that this excellent point doesn't occur to them.
i think people want to hate on him so badly that this excellent point doesn't occur to them.
+14
7:15PM on 04/16/2012
I'm kinda jealous that you got to watch Raiders at hebrew school, but my catholic classes never showed Last Crusade.
I'm kinda jealous that you got to watch Raiders at hebrew school, but my catholic classes never showed Last Crusade.
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3:16PM on 04/17/2012
in voodoo school we got to watch Temple of Doom
in voodoo school we got to watch Temple of Doom
7:07PM on 04/16/2012
I don't want Mel Gibson touching my people's history. I want to see the Maccabi story on film- I think it could be the serious version of 300- but if Gibson doesn't make it, I'm perfectly happy with that.
I don't want Mel Gibson touching my people's history. I want to see the Maccabi story on film- I think it could be the serious version of 300- but if Gibson doesn't make it, I'm perfectly happy with that.
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10:58PM on 04/16/2012
Lol
Lol
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