Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Mel Gibson’s Maccabee Movie Falls Apart with Angry Accusations of Anti-Semitism

posted by Nell Minow

It is hard to imagine a more explosive combination than Mel Gibson and Joe Eszterhas.  Both are famously volatile and outspoken.  Mel Gibson is a devout Catholic, an actor, writer, and director whose many appearances in the tabloids have included a drunken rant with ugly anti-Semitic comments, a drunken rant with misogynistic and abusive comments directed at his girlfriend and the mother of his baby.  Many critics also accused him of anti-Semitism in the portrayal of some of the Jewish characters in his film, “The Passion of the Christ.”

So it was a subject of more than usual interest when Gibson announced he would make a movie about one of the most famous triumphs in Jewish history in the first-ever war over religious freedom, an event that is celebrated each year at Hanukah.  He was working with Eszterhas, raised Catholic, a reporter and editor turned screenwriter (“Showgirls,” “Basic Instinct”), who has received awards for his two films about anti-Semitism (“The Music Box” and “Betrayed”).

Eszterhas, who worked on the script for two years, has now quit the project and sent Gibson a nine-page memo accusing him of never having any intention of making the movie and announcing the project only to deflect the accusations of anti-Semitism.  “I’ve come to the conclusion that the only reason you won’t make ‘The Maccabees’ is the ugliest one: You hate Jews.”  The memo includes truly shocking descriptions of Gibson’s statements and actions, including his saying that he wanted the movie to “convert Jews to Christianity” and ugly comments and threats about Gibson’s former girlfriend.

I am sorry to see the talented Gibson apparently brought down by his demons.  And I hope someone else will pick up the idea of a film about the Maccabees.



Previous Posts

Interview: Ted Melfi of "St. Vincent"
Writer/director Ted Melfi got Bill Murray to appear in his first film by calling him. Murray does not have an agent or a manager. He has an 800 number. And Melfi left message after message until Murray finally called back and asked Melfi to pick him up at the airport. Apparently his pitch skills (an

posted 12:55:48pm Oct. 19, 2014 | read full post »

What Do Critics Think About Watching Film That Is Not What the Makers Intended?
Thanks to Indiewire for including me in their survey of critics about how important it is to watch a movie as it was filmed. If it was made on film stock, is it unfair to the artists' vision to watch a digital version? Here was my answer: [caption id="attachment_30587" align="alignright" widt

posted 8:00:39am Oct. 19, 2014 | read full post »

Classic Movie Scenes in Legos
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/kbB61_urAlg?rel=0" frameborder="0"] From Morgan Spence

posted 3:59:35pm Oct. 18, 2014 | read full post »

Rio Director and Pixar Artist Collaborate on a New Film: Timeless
Pixar artist Armand Baltazar has a forthcoming three-book children’s series called Timeless, about a world in which all time periods come together, and all nows are at the same time. A boy and fr

posted 3:59:01pm Oct. 18, 2014 | read full post »

Contest: Scholastic's Halloween DVD
Get ready for Halloween with Scholastic's "Day of the Dead" DVD, featuring four spooky (but not too scary) tales. In the title story, by Bob Barner and narrated by Rita Moreno, two children celebrat

posted 8:00:51am Oct. 17, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.