Mel Gibson to make film about Jewish heroes, the Maccabees
Mel Gibson, the Lethal Weapon actor and director of controversial film The Passion of the Christ, is to set the world astir again with a film about the Jewish hero Judah Maccabee, who liberated Jerusalem. Will it be Braveheart all over again?
Is the world ready for a Jewish Braveheart? Let’s hope so, as Mel Gibson, with the help of Warner Bros, is plotting a film about the Jewish hero Judah Maccabee. Maccabee led a revolt of Jews against a Seleucid army and overthrew the king, Antiochus IV, and in the process managed to liberate Jerusalem. Does that perhaps remind you a little bit of William Wallace, the hero of Braveheart? Although of course he didn’t succeed in “liberating” Scotland at all, and the facts in that film were stretched to say the least.
The new film, which was apparently being mooted as far back as 2006 (when Gibson was famously recorded in a drunken anti-Semitic rant), will be written by Joe Eszterhas, the Hollywood screenwriter famous for such films as Basic Instinct and Flashdance. Gibson, of course, has touched on Biblical material before, with 2004’s The Passion of the Christ, noted for being entirely in Aramaic and Latin.
According to Deadline Hollywood, which broke the story, Gibson has “first option” to direct, but will certainly produce the film. The site reported that Maccabee’s story of triumph against tyranny is celebrated by Jews across the world as Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, leading The Huffington Post to call the film a “Hanukkah surprise.”