Thursday, May 23, 2013
It looks like Mel Gibson's epic comeback to the film industry has been put off once again with the axing of his latest project, The Maccabees. The story of the Jewish hero Judas Maccabee has been shelved by Warner Brothers, and the screenwriter of the project seems to think he knows why. Joe Eszterhas wrote a scathing nine-page letter to the Beaver star, reinforcing claims that have been made against him in the past, including that he is an anti-Semite who also threatened to kill his baby mama, Oksana Grigorieva. Gibson is notorious for his 2006 DUI stop and subsequent rant about Jews; Eszterhas claims that this tiger hasn't changed his stripes. "I've come to the conclusion that the reason you won't make 'The Maccabees' is the ugliest possible one. You hate Jews," he wrote. He continues with a hypothesis of why Gibson attached himself to the project in the first place, which was "an attempt to deflect continuing charges of anti-Semitism which have dogged you, charges which have crippled your career." And the accusations don't stop there. "You continually called Jews 'Hebes' and 'oven-dodgers' and 'Jewboys.' It seemed that most times when we discussed someone, you asked 'He's a Hebe, isn't he?' You said most 'gatekeepers' of American companies were 'Hebes' who 'controlled their bosses,'" Eszterhas continued. Two years ago, Gibson's explosive phone conversations with his baby mama were released, and it sounds like he hasn't given up the grudge. About Grigorieva, Eszterhas wrote, "And then you were even more explicit about your threat: "I'm going to kill her! I'm going to have her killed!" You said you'd become friends with two FBI agents (or former FBI agents) and they were going to help you to kill her." Gibson replied to Eszterhas's screed with just a few words, calling the whole thing "utter fabrications." Gibson blames sour grapes for the letter, saying, "Both Warner Brothers and I were extraordinarily disappointed with the draft," Gibson wrote. "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 on any other factor."