Even though The Beaver flopped and his latest movie, Get the Gringo is going straight-to-DVD, Mel Gibson hasn’t given up his larger aspirations. Two years ago, Mel Gibson was developing a Viking movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio, but the project fell apart when DiCaprio bailed in July 2010. But at a recent American Cinematheque Q&A, Gibson says the project is alive and he’s written a new draft of the script with Braveheart screenwriter Randall Wallace.
Hit the jump for more, including an update on Gibson’s Judah Maccabee movie.
At the Cinematheque Q&A (via LA Times with transcription by The Playlist) Gibson said that his Vikings will be “very unsympathetic characters and these guys will be bad.” He added that the film, entitled Berserker, will be “real and visceral.” Translation: violent beyond all reason. Here’s the funny thing: as violent as Gibson will make his movie, he might still get beat on that level by Nicolas Winding Refn‘s 2009 Viking movie, Valhalla Rising.
As for his Judah Maccabee film, Gibson commented on the project (which is being written by Joe Eszterhas):
That’s from the last two books of the Old Testament, which is like; [turns to audience] just read it some time. Maccabee 1 and 2. Just read it, it’s like a Western. It’s an amazing story. It’s heroic beyond belief. The entire might of the Seleucid Empire, which was Persia, their whole objective at the time was to wipe Judea off the map and they almost did it except for this little hold out that miraculously grew and wanted it all back again.”
It’s a funny project for Gibson considering that The Passion of the Christ depicts Jews as monstrous, and there was also that one time where he was drunk and said that Jews were responsible for all the wars in the world. So…bygones? Not quite. While the Sunday School version of the Maccabees has them as the heroes of Hanukkah, in reality they were guerilla fighters who “destroyed pagan altars in the villages, circumcised boys and forced Jews into outlawry.” The larger point is this: Gibson is planning another violent historical drama and he probably doesn’t care who the protagonists are.