TMZ

Our TV Shows

Got a Tip?

Call TMZ at (888) 847-9869 or Click Here

Mel Gibson

Why I Want to Make A

Jewish Hero Movie

9/10/2011 8:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

0909_mel_gibson_ex
Mel Gibson has a passion for the story of Judah Maccabee, one of the greatest Jewish heroes of all time, but is not doing the movie as an act of contrition.

Sources very close to Mel tell TMZ ... Gibson does not feel the need to bridge a gap between himself and the Jewish community, because he doesn't believe a gap exists.  They say Mel is adamant -- he does not hate Jews, noting that his lawyers are Jewish, his publicist is Jewish, and he has many Jewish friends and employees.

As for Mel's anti-Semitic rant during his 2006 DUI arrest, Mel has written two public letters of apology and also met with numerous leaders in the Jewish community to discuss where he went wrong.

0909_mel_docs
As for the movie, Mel has wanted to produce it for a decade, telling our sources it's actually a statement against corruption in the church.  Mel believes Maccabee's story parallels the modern church, and he thinks the movie will help force change.

821 COMMENTS

No Avatar
361.

realist    

Hi Kelly,

Actually, Rabbi Hier won two Oscars for co-writing and producing a few movies.

1084 days ago
362.

realist    

Hi Fuddy, Posting here so we don't have to keep going back. Every once in a while I do get some hair-brained ideas. And SMH at the Court's logic, or should I say Illogic.

1084 days ago
363.

kkg    

Intriguing, as are all such arguments. But they speak only to the brain's response to stimulus. Not really proving that 'man created god.' Actually, the comment that infants respond favorably to altruistic pictures could be construed by many as proof that we are designed towards love by an entity which as been defined as love. Or, on the other hand,that evolution hardwired the brain with altruistic impulses as a means of species self preservation. There's no proof either way; merely conjecture.


Once again, it all boils down to faith. Someone once asked what I thought it took to be a great saint. I think it's stubbornness. :o)


Kathleen

1084 days ago
364.

kkg    

Sorry, my post was meant to be a reply to Sam's link on man creating God. Somehow, it ended up on the main page rather than as a remark added to her post. My apologies.


Kathleen

1084 days ago
365.

fuddyduddy    

Mel Gibson’s miracle: doing right by Maccabee

By Patrick Goldstein / Los Angeles Times
Monday, September 12, 2011 - Added 3 days ago


E-mail Print (1) Comments Text size Share

No, it isn’t April Fools’ Day. But I had to do a quick check of the calendar when I heard the news that Mel Gibson was developing a movie for Warner Bros. about the life of Judah Maccabee, who led a heroic revolt in 160... BC that is celebrated every year at Hannukah by Jews. You know, the same Jews that Gibson has infamously maligned, not only in a nasty anti-Semitic rant after he was arrested for drunken driving, but in his enormously successful film, "The Passion of the Christ."

The announcement of the project makes it clear that Gibson is back in good standing in Hollywood, at least at Warner Bros., arguably the industry’s leading studio. As recently as last summer Gibson was in ho*****er again, for making racist and misogynistic remarks in a taped conversation with his then-girlfriend. If Warners was at all worried about its image, it could have easily decided to wait until Gibson finished the film before agreeing to do a deal with the star, who will be directing, but not necessarily appearing in the film.

The fact that Warners agreed to bless the Gibson film before it even had a script in hand – it’s being penned by Joe Eszterhas – shows the studio felt it was on safe enough ground in terms of blowback to lend the Warners shield to the project.

Of course, the blowback is already here, with a host of Jewish leaders, including the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Marvin Hier and Anti-Defamation League national director Abraham Foxman, already blasting the decision. Foxman said it would be a "travesty" to have the Maccabee story told "by one who has no respect and sensitivity for other people’s religious views." Hier topped that, railing against the way Gibson portrayed Jews in "Passion of the Christ" as "idiots and buffoons" before adding a coup de grace, saying that having Gibson at the helm of a story about Judah Maccabee "is like casting (Bernie) Madoff to be the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, or a white supremacist as trying to portray Martin Luther King Jr. It’s simply an insult to the Jews."

But is it? It’s true that Gibson’s portrayal of the Jews in "Passion of the Christ" was one-sided and deeply stereotypical. And it’s pretty clear, from his own actions, that Gibson, drunk or sober, is a man with a lot of enmity inside him, not just for Jews but for African Americans and women. But does that disqualify him for making a movie about Judah Maccabee?

Hardly. First off, until Eszterhas turns in a script, we have no idea what sort of story will be told, much less how it will portray its characters, in terms of tone and shading. Gibson clearly loves mythic heroes from the past – remember "Braveheart"? – so his adoration for an embattled warrior fighting a powerful foe might trump his lack of respect for his religion. Stranger things have happened. Conservatives were in an uproar when it was announced that uber-liberal Oliver Stone was doing a 9/11 movie. Yet the final product, "World Trade Center," was viewed as incredibly reverential and uplifting, even by longtime Stone critics.

Gibson has a lot of serious flaws as a human being, but he has always been a gifted filmmaker. It’s unfair to judge him so soon. What concerns me most is Gibson’s motives for making the film. Even though he has been notoriously self-destructive in his personal life, he must surely realize that a film from him that in any way undercuts the heroism of Maccabee would be a career killer of the highest order. But it would be almost as bad if he were doing the film as an act of penance for his sins, since dutiful acts of penance rarely lend themselves to great artistry.

There are many hurdles to come, starting with the fact that Gibson has put the story in the hands of Eszterhas, the author of all sorts of pulpy, over-the-top thrillers who, by the most generous standards, hasn’t written a decent screenplay in 20 years. But if, Hanukkah miracle of all miracles, Gibson were to end up with a great story to tell, I’d be happy to see him celebrating one of the great Jewish heroes. When it comes to art, sometimes the people who have the most demons to confront end up being the most riveting storytellers.

___

Patrick Goldstein: patrick.goldstein@latimes.com

___

(c)2011 the Los Angeles Times Visit the Los Angeles Times at www.latimes.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

1084 days ago
366.

kkg    

Ms Fuddy, I'm sending a hug right back at you. So glad to see you're back here. Levelheaded optimism is in short supply here and everywhere. We need every bit of yours we can get.

Kathleen

1084 days ago
367.

IA    

MAC:
"I still think it is funny that under stress privately she does not have an accent, but in public she does."
______

Yes! I believe that is for calling sympathy upon herself. I use that trick sometimes myself, say, when cops pull me over, they seem more sympathetic when I put on a heavy accent. Like somehow being a foreigner implies that you are less able to get around in this system, and therefore maybe a bit more of a victim? As in "Oh, poor woman, she can't even speak the language well, doesn't know the rules, we should give her a break."? I don't know, I just know it works. It also works playing dumb and pretending not to speak the language at all when it is not convenient! LOL. Oh-oh, I'm exposing some of my guile.

1084 days ago
368.

realist    

My Blushes, Fuddy. I'm out for awhile. c u l8r.

1083 days ago
369.

little aussie reader    

Ira Black: about an hour ago

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Hey little aussie reader ! Let's pass the cigars ! Tee hee You have any on you ??? Maybe I'll head to the store and get some if you're out !!! LOL !!! And I can't forget a book of matches !!! "Come on baby light my fire" !!! Ha Ha Ha

ROFL !!! LMAO !!!! LOL !!!!!
--------------------------

Ira - be my guest - mi humidor es su humidor.

Please choose from the top shelf Ira - only the finest Cubans for Sir Ira Black.

LOL!

:o)

1083 days ago
370.

Cujeaux    

LOL, Ira I bet if I saw you I still wouldn't know if you're a man or a woman. You kinda remind me of the 'SNL' skit
'Here Comes Pat.' You've even got one of those names so you can't tell. * I totally believe you're using your real name on here. lol


Why are you talking about tv shows from 40+ years ago? Do you own a tv or are you like Ted Kazinski holed up in a cabin in the woods?

Anyway, here's the opener for the SNL skit, as I am sure you've never seen it. ~ enjoy ~

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwT1kp0C3Ss

1083 days ago
371.

michelle    

can anyone name a movie that hasn't offended some group in some way

1082 days ago
372.

THE BEAVER    

Ira! LOL

Reply: Ya actually I'm pretty confused about it myself. I was named Ira and it's been a mystery ever since. lol What I am I mean. Never was sure of my identity. I'm being serious. I cross dress too. 'Course in Folly Wod every weird thing goes so who cares ? They'd say "Oh you pretty boy in your nice dress and hagged out hair oh ya you have so much flair."


Vous faire parle du français ?

LOL !!!

I wouldn't tell all, dude, or someone might take a picture of you (like Oksana) and sell it to Radar Online. LOL

1082 days ago
373.

Bunny that earns scooby snacks!    

http://reason.com/archives/2011/09/14/a-jewish-case-for-mel-gibson

It seems that we American Jews have a sacred duty. It has nothing to do with skullcaps or boiling a goat in its mother's milk. No. It is our obligation to be perpetually offended and hypersensitive, lest something terrible happen.

So naturally, when former movie star and director Mel Gibson announced that he will be involved in producing a movie about the life of Jewish icon Judas Maccabaeus, community indignation was ramped up. God knows, Gibson had already declared that Jews had started "all wars," during a DUI arrest a couple of years back. He later apologized, calling it "a moment of insanity" and a "public humiliation on a global scale." But surely, a person doesn't spontaneously break into Jew-baiting unless there is some underlying animosity. When you're on the back end of a two-day bender, does it ever occur to you to harangue members of the Greek Orthodox Church? I thought not.

But if there's anything more irritating than listening to a slightly insane and very angry celebrity who is stupid drunk, it's listening to self-appointed Jewish leaders be offended for me.

The media rushed to make sense of this peculiar movie project by, as they always do, seeking out professionally aggrieved Jews, such as Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, who explained: "Casting him as a director or perhaps as the star of (a film about Judas Maccabaeus) is like casting (Bernie) Madoff to be the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission or a white supremacist as trying to portray Martin Luther King Jr. It's simply an insult to Jews."

Then there was the Anti-Defamation League's Abe Foxman, who once called Gibson "the portrait of an anti-Semite" and who is the leading voice of the distressed American Jew—and don't we suffer! He claimed that seeing as Gibson's "previous attempt to bring biblical history to life on the screen (with The Passion of The Christ) was marred by anti-Semitism," this one has no shot.

Well, there are certainly plenty of places in the world to find dangerous, theologically embedded anti-Semitism—with Beverly Hills being low on the list. And sure, Gibson's words were ugly. But if a Polish director who drugged and sexually assaulted a 13-year-old can cast stars in his films, find funding, and win Oscars, why not Mel? If Jeff Spicoli can buddy up with a fleshy two-bit dictator and continue to find work, why not Mel? If Al Sharpton—a man whose vile and consequential anti-Semitism has incited violence, destruction, and social unrest—has a TV show funded by NBC, why not Mel?

And as strange as it seems, artistically speaking, the Jews could use Gibson on this one. The story of Hanukkah isn't only the tale of miraculous candles and Christmas envy, you know. It's about slaying unarmed Hellenistic interlopers and taking names (afterward). It is about populist Jewish rebellion, the unsheathing of theocratic swords and the struggle for freedom (Jewish freedom, anyway). Surely, this kind of material can't be entrusted to some hand-wringing, weak-kneed director who will slather his Jewish liberal sensibilities all over history. Have you seen Steven Spielberg's Munich? No, we need crazy on this.

Charles ****ens, Edmund Burke, Virginia Woolf, and Edgar Degas, to name very few, had some bad words for the Jews on occasion. But we can put these things in perspective. You can love the art (or whatever this movie will be classified as) and believe that the creator might be in need of psychiatric help or even that he might just be a bad guy. It doesn't always diminish the art. There are limits, of course, but if I stopped watching actors and directors who spewed absurdity, I would have, for instance, missed the entire Jason Bourne series.

Actually, I would have missed a lifetime of popular culture and art.

1081 days ago
374.

little aussie reader    

Cujeaux:

....... Even though Polanski is a pig, he's not an uncouth drunk like MM.

--------------------------

Yeah, because drugging and sodomising a 13 year old girl is the epitome of "couth".

1081 days ago
375.

little aussie reader    

Cujeaux:

That's your statement, not mine. If Mel did that you'd still be his biggest fan.
-------------------------------

Sorry Cuji - strike out again - I am not now, nor have I ever been "his biggest fan".

It was your statement that what Polanski physically did to a minor, and is the reason he cannot return to the U.S without fear of arrest, pales into insignificance against Gibson's verbal rants that wins stupid post of the day.

1081 days ago
Previous 15 Comments | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | Most Recent | Next 15 Comments

Around The Web