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Mel Gibson is not giving up or going away - words on Vikings, Maccabees, and Mad Max

Feb. 8, 2012by: Alejandro Stepenberg

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Mel Gibson, as we all know, has had a rather rough go of it of late. And yet, despite all he has said and the fact that I myself am Jewish, I still root for the guy. I'll admit that. He's made some of the best, most entertaining, and most affecting films I have ever seen, and for that I will gladly respect and appreciate the man. So it gives me great joy to report to you that two of Gibson's past-mentioned projects are in no way dead due to his troubles, but are instead making slow but steady progress towards production.  It was at a recent MAD MAX screening event in Hollywood's Egyptian Theatre where Gibson spoke, revealing some interesting insights:

On Vikings:

"Vikings, as you know, are very unsympathetic characters and these guys will be bad. I sort of hooked up again with Randall Wallace who did the script on Braveheart.  Yeah, it's pretty good. It's called Berserker." And upon being asked whether the Viking helmets would bear horns as per some previous depictions, Gibson said "they did not have horns. No, I don't think they had horns. They're going to look real.  They're not going to be running around like the '50s (referencing Richard Fleischer's 1958 pic The Vikings starring Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis). I want to make something real and visceral."  Once upon a time Leonardo DiCaprio was attached to star and William Monahan (THE DEPARTED, KINGDOM OF HEAVEN) was set to write the script, but they've long since left.  Which is just fine by Gibson.  "Things begin and people wander off and do their thing and I do my thing. I just took my stuff and wrote it with Randall. Where it goes from here is anyone's guess."  Sadly, Gibson gave no insight as to whether the film will still be in the Old Norse and Anglo Saxon languages.

Mel Gibson wields a broadsword

On Maccabees:

"I'm working with Joe Eszteras on that. That's from the last two books of the Old Testament, which is like; [turns to audience] just read it some time. Maccabee 1 and 2. Just read it, it's like a Western. It's an amazing story. It's heroic beyond belief. The entire might of the Seleucid Empire, which was Persia, their whole objective at the time was to wipe Judea off the map and they almost did it except for this little hold out that miraculously grew and wanted it all back again."

Mel Gibson wears makeup and a suit

On MAD MAX:

"I like that kid [George's] got, Tom Hardy. He's a very interesting actor. He reminds me of one my sons a bit but I had lunch with him, he's a firecracker. It'll be good. He was already cast [at the time], he just wanted to check in. I don't know, maybe it was like 'Is it okay?' I was like 'Sure, it's fine. Have a ball, knock yourself out. I got better things to do.'"

Mel Gibson directing Apocalypto

You can watch the full interview/Q&A in its entirety here. Is Mel Gibson making a movie about the Maccabees by way of "apology" as some people have claimed? I don't know.  I also don't care.  The man makes damn fine films that affect, entertain, and inspire me in the way I believe films should, and I know I'll be there opening day.  Also, and I don't know if you caught this already when it last made rounds on the internet, but below is a video of Robert Downey Jr. (another guy who once upon a time had some very rough and harmful years) asking forgiveness for Mel Gibson.  And considering the two standing ovations Gibson received at the recent MAD MAX screening, maybe it's time after all.

Extra Tidbit: From what I understand, the MAD MAX project with Hardy is the same story that was going to be shot with Gibson back in 2003 - that project was delayed due to the impending invasion of Iraq and eventually fell by the wayside.

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6:48PM on 02/09/2012
God yes Gibson's an awesome director and teh viking movie sounds excellent.
God yes Gibson's an awesome director and teh viking movie sounds excellent.
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+3
12:21PM on 02/09/2012

Long live the Gibbo

I've always loved him, and it's great to see him come back to grace.
I've always loved him, and it's great to see him come back to grace.
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6:49PM on 02/08/2012

Mel Rules

I never gave a damn. He is one my of favorite people in the industry and kicks ass. Super cool or Downey Jr to pay it forward (or back).
I never gave a damn. He is one my of favorite people in the industry and kicks ass. Super cool or Downey Jr to pay it forward (or back).
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5:27PM on 02/08/2012
Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior is still one of my top 10 favorite movies.
Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior is still one of my top 10 favorite movies.
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+16
4:26PM on 02/08/2012
Long live Mel! Am pumped for any project he as going! His work owns!
Long live Mel! Am pumped for any project he as going! His work owns!
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+14
3:15PM on 02/08/2012

Like we are any better?

The only reason why he gets so much heat is because he's Mel Gibson! Go to a high school or play Xbox Live, you hear FARRR worse shit that people say all the time almost minute by minute. I did student teaching at a high school, and daily it was "faggot, nigger, jew, fucking this, fucking that." Talking about figting, drinking, I mean seriously.

But when a "famous" person says something remotely offensive, OMG WATCH OUT, I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!
Lay off Mel, He's an amazing actor and
The only reason why he gets so much heat is because he's Mel Gibson! Go to a high school or play Xbox Live, you hear FARRR worse shit that people say all the time almost minute by minute. I did student teaching at a high school, and daily it was "faggot, nigger, jew, fucking this, fucking that." Talking about figting, drinking, I mean seriously.

But when a "famous" person says something remotely offensive, OMG WATCH OUT, I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!
Lay off Mel, He's an amazing actor and director, and deserves to be forgiven and much respect.
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2:54AM on 02/09/2012
yea kids on there think they can talk all tough cause there's no consequences for what they say. If you actually met half of these kids they would never talk that tough!
yea kids on there think they can talk all tough cause there's no consequences for what they say. If you actually met half of these kids they would never talk that tough!
+9
2:27PM on 02/08/2012
Mel's fantastic! I hope everyone of these films gets made, and his career gets back to where it should be.

We've all missed out on a lot of could have been great films over the past year in Mel's absence.
Mel's fantastic! I hope everyone of these films gets made, and his career gets back to where it should be.

We've all missed out on a lot of could have been great films over the past year in Mel's absence.
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1:21PM on 02/08/2012
I would love to see Mel direct any of these projects, yes he made mistakes so has everyone else and he has apologized for them. I am ready to move on and see him get back to what he does best making great movies.
I would love to see Mel direct any of these projects, yes he made mistakes so has everyone else and he has apologized for them. I am ready to move on and see him get back to what he does best making great movies.
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1:15PM on 02/08/2012

MEL

I was at this event and nothing was more surreal than seeing my favorite actor in person after having just watched him play my favorite character in my favorite movie. I was the first ass out of his seat to stand up and applaud him as he made his way to the stage, and I'll be the first person in line to see anything he makes.

Also, Gibson has apologized three times. He released two heart-felt written apologies (which were scoffed at by some as having been written by his publicist), and he
I was at this event and nothing was more surreal than seeing my favorite actor in person after having just watched him play my favorite character in my favorite movie. I was the first ass out of his seat to stand up and applaud him as he made his way to the stage, and I'll be the first person in line to see anything he makes.

Also, Gibson has apologized three times. He released two heart-felt written apologies (which were scoffed at by some as having been written by his publicist), and he did an on-camera apology/interview with Diane Sawyer. The truth is, the man could do anything and people would not allow him any leeway. It's hard for people to change, but probably the hardest thing for people to change is their opinion once their mind is made up about someone.

Gibson was one of the most generous celebrities of last year as far as charity donations were concerned, he's helped sick children in third-world countries, assisted many artists that have been struggling, and has received nothing but praise from those who know or have worked with him. He's a good, decent man who only succumbed to blind anger and lashed out. It is nothing that anyone here hasn't done themselves. The only difference is that we don't have anyone looking to plaster every mistake we make or bad moment we have all over the Internet for the world to see.

Mel is still the best we got!
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12:41PM on 02/08/2012
I hope he starts on Berserker first. Sounds like it could be amazing. Mel is one of my all time fav's and i could give two shits about what goes on in his personal life. I want the guy back in cinema.
I hope he starts on Berserker first. Sounds like it could be amazing. Mel is one of my all time fav's and i could give two shits about what goes on in his personal life. I want the guy back in cinema.
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12:17PM on 02/08/2012

Also...

What magazine, or photoshoot did those top 2 pics come from???
Thx!
What magazine, or photoshoot did those top 2 pics come from???
Thx!
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1:19PM on 02/08/2012
It was from a Empire magazine shoot a few years back. A dam good shoot it was too, check it out [link]
It was from a Empire magazine shoot a few years back. A dam good shoot it was too, check it out [link]
+10
12:16PM on 02/08/2012

His Hug the Cactus Long Enough!

Favorite movie of all time, BRAVEHEART! Can't deny it, the man makes outstanding films. We live and we learn, so let's move on...
Favorite movie of all time, BRAVEHEART! Can't deny it, the man makes outstanding films. We live and we learn, so let's move on...
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+17
11:52AM on 02/08/2012

Mel Gibson and Randall Wallace

Making a movie about Vikings.

Sounds great!
Making a movie about Vikings.

Sounds great!
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11:35AM on 02/08/2012

Mel Gibson + Vikings = win

Mel Gibson + Joe Eszteras = aw shit. Eszteras is a misogynistic hack; any film with him is almost guaranteed to be a shitfest.
Mel Gibson + Joe Eszteras = aw shit. Eszteras is a misogynistic hack; any film with him is almost guaranteed to be a shitfest.
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10:30AM on 02/08/2012

Good 'ol Mel

Like Tom Cruise gone nuts a while back, I'm still a fan of Mel and always will be. In fact, just watched Lethel 2 the other night and even after seeing it hundreds of times and knowing all the lines, I still love every minute. Brings back good childhood memories. However, I'm pumped and hope his upcoming projects come to fruition. We need to get back to some of these types of movies. Also, love how he approves of Tom Hardy, who also has shot to the very top of my favorite actor list (Colin
Like Tom Cruise gone nuts a while back, I'm still a fan of Mel and always will be. In fact, just watched Lethel 2 the other night and even after seeing it hundreds of times and knowing all the lines, I still love every minute. Brings back good childhood memories. However, I'm pumped and hope his upcoming projects come to fruition. We need to get back to some of these types of movies. Also, love how he approves of Tom Hardy, who also has shot to the very top of my favorite actor list (Colin Farrell still holds the number one spot in my "A.P. Poll"), but you can't argue with some of the roles Hardy has had the past few years. Bronson, tremendous. The Take, bad ass. Warrior, amazing. Can't wait for Bane and hyped to see how he plays his version of double M...
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+12
9:25AM on 02/08/2012
"something real and visceral"... OK I'M SOLD!
"something real and visceral"... OK I'M SOLD!
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+17
8:14AM on 02/08/2012
Mel Gibson + Vikings = win.
Mel Gibson + Vikings = win.
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8:11AM on 02/08/2012
I'd like to see a realistic vikings movie. Specially when it's done by Gibson. I like his movies.
I'd like to see a realistic vikings movie. Specially when it's done by Gibson. I like his movies.
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7:43AM on 02/08/2012

has Mel ever apologized for what he said?

I love Mel's movies too, and what Robert Downey said was very nice. It would however be a HUGE step in more people forgiving him, if he gave a press conference and apologized on camera instead of people doing it for him.
I love Mel's movies too, and what Robert Downey said was very nice. It would however be a HUGE step in more people forgiving him, if he gave a press conference and apologized on camera instead of people doing it for him.
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3:17PM on 02/08/2012
How about you apologize for every offensive, stupid, negative thing you've ever said? Oh yeah, you don't have too, because your not in the public eye. Give him a break, and don't pretend you've never been a prick in your entire existence.
How about you apologize for every offensive, stupid, negative thing you've ever said? Oh yeah, you don't have too, because your not in the public eye. Give him a break, and don't pretend you've never been a prick in your entire existence.
2:48AM on 02/09/2012
hey guess what halflife. I never said I was perfect, and when I offend someone (when it's brought to my attention) I do apologize if I meant any offense. I'm also not pretending I've never been a prick to people! How about you actually know someone (talking about me) before you assume you know what they say and do! I do give Mel a break, and if he apologized then good for him. I'm sure he's sorry for what he said, and I do think he's a great actor and director. I just think we should all be
hey guess what halflife. I never said I was perfect, and when I offend someone (when it's brought to my attention) I do apologize if I meant any offense. I'm also not pretending I've never been a prick to people! How about you actually know someone (talking about me) before you assume you know what they say and do! I do give Mel a break, and if he apologized then good for him. I'm sure he's sorry for what he said, and I do think he's a great actor and director. I just think we should all be held accountable for what we say and do!
7:32AM on 02/08/2012

This guy is the man.

I hope he makes that Viking movie....it's going to be amazing.
I hope he makes that Viking movie....it's going to be amazing.
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