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Mel Gibson's Maccabee movie on hold due to new allegations from screenwriter

04.12.2012

Well, it looks like Mel Gibson's historical epic about Judah Maccabee will not be hitting theaters any time soon. It also appears that his career may just have hit the worst snag possible.

Screenwriter Joe Eszterhas (SHOWGIRLS, BASIC INSTINCT) wrote the script for THE MACCABEES, which was rejected by the studio. Warner Bros. has put a hold on the project with no further word as to when it would proceed. That is never a good sign.

Well, Eszterhas was not happy so he penned a nine page letter to Mel, calling him out for his anti-semitic rants that he heard first hand. The letter is marked confidential but still made it onto the internet. I must warn you it contains very explicit language and slurs against Jewish people. Click here to read the letter.

Eszterhas is likely going to be accused of trying to get revenge for his screenplay being rejected, but he apparently has an audio recording his son made of Gibson making the racist statements as well as threatening to have his ex-wife killed.

Mel has responded with a letter as well: Contrary to your assertion that I was only developing Maccabees to burnish my tarnished reputation, I have been working on this project for over 10 years and it was publicly announced eight years ago. I absolutely want to make this movie; it's just that neither Warner Brothers nor I want to make this movie based on your script...Honestly, Joe, not only was the script delivered later than you promised, both Warner Brothers and I were extraordinarily disappointed with the draft. In 25 years of script development I have never seen a more substandard first draft or a more significant waste of time. The decision not to proceed with you was based on the quality of your script, not any other factor.

Not having read the script, I cannot say if it was any good or not. But, the Maccabee story is such a good one, I am sure it will be made at some point.  Whether or not the accusations prove to be true, I hope that Mel didn't do it.  I love the work the man has put in to date and his beliefs are his own.  Time will tell if this hurts his career for the long haul.

Extra Tidbit: Personal note: I am Jewish myself and while I find this news disturbing, they are allegations from a disreputable source. If they prove to be true, I will be the first one to tell Mel to go to hell. But, until then, I have to abide by the old adage of "innocent until proven guilty."
Source: Toronto SunThe Wrap

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