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Birth Name: Mel Columcille Gerard Gibson
Birth Date: January 3, 1956
Birth Place: Peekskill, New York, USA
Height: 5' 10½"
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Mel Gibson On ‘The Professor & The Madman’ “Disappointment” & Legal Battle(4/5/19) The long legal tussle involving Mel Gibson and director Farhad Safinia against Voltage Pictures over The Professor and the Madman was settled confidentially this week, but the man who once played Mad Max is not happy with the results.
“As the settlement details are confidential, I will not be commenting but I would like to set the record straight as a number of articles have been released that are factually inaccurate,” the Oscar winner told Deadline on Friday following the April 2 settlement (read it here) between Gibson’s Icon Productions and the Nicolas Chartier-run Voltage that was unveiled in Los Angeles Superior Court. A final settlement hearing is now on the LASC calendar for April 15.
“First, neither Farhad Safinia nor I ever walked off of the set, or cause the film to ever go over budget,” says Gibson, who portrays the 19th century Oxford Dictionary co-creator Professor James Murray in the Safina-helmed and Sean Penn co-starring film based on Simon Winchester’s 1998 book The Surgeon of Crowthorne: A Tale of Murder, Madness and the Love of Words.
“Second, as partners in Icon Productions, Bruce Davey and I are huge fans of Simon Winchester’s best-selling book on which the script was based and worked for 20 years to bring this amazing story to the screen,” the Braveheart director and star added.
“This was a labor of love for the entire creative team, and it is unfortunate for all concerned that this film was never finished as written,” Gibson declared. “I regret that this film will never be seen as it was meant to be. Making it was never about money for Icon, it was about bringing this amazing story to the big screen. Sadly that has not happened in the way it could have.”
“The Voltage version of this film is a bitter disappointment to me,” the actor concluded. (See the complete statement below.)
With this week’s ostensive end to the two-year multi-suit legal battle, Vertical Entertainment, which picked up U.S. rights to The Professor and the Madman, is set to release the film later this year.
The settlement follows a federal judge late last month dismissing a copyright-infringement complaint filed by Safina against Voltage. The writer-director had claimed ownership of the copyright of the project after scripting a 2007 revision of its original 2001 script, but U.S. District Judge Consuelo Marshal didn’t agree.
Gibson’s Icon originally sued Voltage in July 2017 claiming the financing and distribution company had dumped out on their deal by refusing to allow Safinia to complete the film. In part, the disagreement and the various lawsuits spiraled out of a dispute by a disagreement with Voltage CEO Chartier over the film’s shooting location. Gibson and Safinia believed that key scenes needed to be shot in Oxford, England instead of Trinity College in Dublin. Voltage and Chartier resisted, arguing the movie was already over budget and behind schedule. Voltage claimed Gibson and Safinia walked off the movie when the Oxford locations were not permitted.
Gibson also wanted to prevent Voltage from screening the pic for potential distributors.
Now everyone will see the movie, but not the version Gibson intended. Here’s the full statement:
As the settlement details are confidential, I will not be commenting but I would like to set the record straight as a number of articles have been released that are factually inaccurate.
First, neither Farhad Safinia nor I ever walked off of the set, or cause the film to ever go over budget.
As a co-writer and first time director, Farhad Safinia brought The Professor and the Madman to life while being a consummate professional and at great personal expense. His devotion was represented in his work on this feature as well as in his past accomplishments on Apocalypto and Boss.
Second, as partners in Icon Productions, Bruce Davey and I are huge fans of Simon Winchester’s best-selling book on which the script was based and worked for 20 years to bring this amazing story to the screen.
This was a labor of love for the entire creative team, and it is unfortunate for all concerned that this film was never finished as written.
Over the last two years, we have doggedly tried to film essential scenes in Oxford (which makes sense for a film about the Oxford English Dictionary!). Apparently, it was not meant to be: the shooting script was not completely shot. Therefore, I did not get the opportunity to choose a final cut, and cannot support the film.
Our only objectives were to tell a great story and to showcase the talent of Farhad Safinia who is one of the most talented writers and directors I have worked with. It is my hope that one day the world gets to see all he has to offer.
I regret that this film will never be seen as it was meant to be. Making it was never about money for Icon, it was about bringing this amazing story to the big screen. Sadly that has not happened in the way it could have. The Voltage version of this film is a bitter disappointment to me.
Mel Gibson posts celeb-pedigreed Malibu estate for $14.5 million(3/14/19) Oscar-winning actor and director Mel Gibson, who stars in the upcoming neo-noir crime thriller “Dragged Across Concrete,” has put his remote estate in Malibu on the market for $14.495 million.
The rustic estate, which was once owned by actors David Duchovny and Tea Leoni, is tucked away in a canyon on five-plus acres, making it both private and secluded.
Clad in stonework, the two-story house features exposed wood beams, rich hardwood floors and massive fireplaces befitting a scene from “Braveheart,” the 1995 film for which Gibson won two Academy Awards. Wrought-iron chandeliers above the great room and den further the Old World ambience.
The main house has five bedrooms, four bathrooms and nearly 6,600 square feet of living space. A French-inspired kitchen has an island and picture windows with views extending as far as the ocean. Sets of French doors border the common rooms.
Located in a private wing, the master suite comprises two walk-in closets and a lavish bath with a clawfoot soaking tub. A private balcony sits off the master bedroom.
A blanket of eucalyptus trees and native plantings surround the property, which has two ocean-view swimming pools, a gym/pool house, a vine-wrapped dining pergola and lawns. A two-bedroom guesthouse sits above the detached three-car garage.
Gibson bought the property from Duchovny and Leoni more than a decade ago for $11.5 million. The 63-year-old has other holdings in Malibu.
Sandro Dazzan of the Agency and Branden Williams of Hilton & Hyland hold the listing.
Gibson’s decades of film credits include the “Mad Max” and “Lethal Weapon” films, “Signs” (2002) and “The Patriot” (2000). He is reportedly directing “The Passion of the Christ: Resurrection,” an upcoming sequel to his 2004 film “The Passion of the Christ.”
‘Dragged Across Concrete’ Trailer: Disgraced Cops Mel Gibson & Vince Vaughn Descend Into Underworld(2/22/19) (Video) “There’s a reason I’m sitting behind this desk running things and you’re out there with a partner that’s 20 years younger than you,” the boss tells Detective Brett Ridgeman. “There’s a lot of imbeciles,” he reminds. Here’s the first trailer for Dragged Across Concrete, starring Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn in a Hacksaw Ridge reunion. Check it out above.
Here is the logline: Two police detectives (Gibson and Vaughn) find themselves suspended after a video of their strong arm tactics is leaked to the media. With little money and no options, the embittered cops descend into the criminal underworld and find more than they wanted waiting in the shadows. The cast also includes Tory Kittles, Michael Jai White, Jennifer Carpenter, Laurie Holden, Fred Melamed, Thomas Kretschmann and Don Johnson.
Written and directed by S. Craig Zahler, the Summit Entertainment pic was produced by Keith Kjarval, Dallas Sonnier, Jack Heller, Tyler Jackson and Sefton Fincham. It’s a production of Unified Pictures and Cinestate in association with Look to the Sky Films and The Fyzz Facility and Realmbuilder Productions. Lionsgate acquired Dragged Across Concrete at Cannes in 2017 and will release the R-rated thriller day-and-date in theaters and VOD on March 22.
Here is the new poster.
Mel Gibson & Tye Sheridan To Star In Blacklist Thriller ‘Black Flies’ For ‘A Prayer Before Dawn’ Director — EFM(2/2/19) Mel Gibson and Tye Sheridan are in final negotiations to star in Blacklist screenplay Black Flies by Ryan King, based on the novel by Shannon Burke.
The film will be directed by Jean-Stephane Sauvaire, who last helmed well-received A24 title A Prayer Before Dawn. Black Flies is the story of a young paramedic, Ollie Cross (Sheridan), navigating his first year on the job. He’s partnered with Rutkovsky (Gibson), an experienced medic who thrusts Ollie into the harsh realities of New York’s inner-city streets. Amidst high crime rates, homelessness, and widespread drug use, Ollie finds his perspective on life and death beginning to shift.
Mad River Pictures is financing and producing alongside Christopher Kopp, Lucan Toh and Babak Anvari, and Anthony Katagas. Sheridan will also be a producer on the film with production slated to begin second quarter, 2019. CAA and Endeavor Content are handling U.S. rights, and IMR International will begin foreign sales in Berlin next week.
Gibson and Sauvaire are represented by CAA. Sauvaire is also repped by Grandview, Sheridan by WME, and Ryan King by UTA and Heroes and Villains Entertainment. Two & Two Pictures is repped by WME and Grandview, and Shannon Burke by Paradigm.
IMR’s The Report recently sold in an eight-figure Sundance deal with Amazon. The slate also includes Guy Ritchie’s next film Bush; What Is Life Worth with Michael Keaton; Ruin with Margot Robbie and Matthias Schoenarts, and King Of The Jungle with Seth Rogen and Michael Keaton.
Two & Two Pictures, the production company of Lucan Toh and Babak Anvari, and Christopher Kopp’s AZA films just premiered Wounds at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.
Mel Gibson’s ‘The Professor And The Madman’ To Get Theatrical Release Via Vertical After Legal Fight(1/14/19) The Mel Gibson-Sean Penn period film The Professor and the Madman will be getting a theatrical release with Vertical Entertainment after the distributor took U.S. rights to the Voltage Pictures production. A theatrical release is planned for the second quarter of this year.
Gibson and his Icon Productions had tried to block the release of the movie, which is based on Simon Winchester’s book about the origins of the Oxford English Dictionary. This was spurred by a disagreement with Voltage CEO Nicolas Chartier over the pic’s shooting location. Gibson and director Farhad Safinia wanted key scenes shot in Oxford, England instead of Trinity College in Dublin. Voltage argued the pic was already over budget and behind schedule, with Gibson and Safinia reportedly walking off the pic.
In the movie Gibson plays Professor James Murray and Penn portrays William Minor, an asylum inmate. Together they team to create the famed dictionary in the mid 19th century.
Gibson’s Icon sued Voltage in 2017 alleging that the company reneged on its deal by refusing to allow Safinia to complete the film. Gibson also wanted to prevent Voltage from screening the pic for potential distributors. However, LA Superior Court Judge Ruth Kwan ruled last June that “Plaintiff did not submit admissible evidence showing the existence of an actual controversy with Defendants.” From what we hear Gibson will not be promoting the title, which will thus challenge Professor and the Madman‘s commercial prospects.
The latest Vertical acquisition was negotiated by the company’s Rich Goldberg and Peter Jarowey and Nicolas Chartier and Jonathan Deckter of Voltage Pictures on behalf of the filmmakers.
P.B. Shemran is listed as taking over the $25M production, with a co-writing credit shared with Todd Komarnicki. Chartier and Gastón Pavlovich produced; executive producers are Dominic Rustam, Zev Foreman, Peter McAleese, Tyler Zacharia and Manu Gargi; co-EPs are Macdara Kelleher, Deckter and Jenny O’Brien. Fábrica de Cine also produced with Voltage in association with Fastnet Films, Definition Films, 22h22, Zik Zak Filmworks and Caviar Antwerp.
Gibson is repped by CAA and Rogers & Cowan. Penn is represented by CAA and ID Public Relations.
Mel Gibson On ‘The Wild Bunch’ Remake: “It Started As A Bad Idea”(10/11/18) Mel Gibson made a surprise appearance Tuesday night at the historic Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood for the American premiere of Dragged Across Concrete, the brutal heist movie from writer-director S. Craig Zahler that stars Gibson and Vince Vaughn as compromised cops planning a score of their own.
A subdued and bearded Gibson joined Vaughn and fellow cast members Tory Kittles, Michael Jai White and Fred Melamed and Zahler (Brawl in Cell Block 99) for a lengthy post-screening stage interview. When the Oscar-winning firebrand figure mentioned his just-announced plan to direct a remake of Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch, he got an enthusiastic response from the crowd of genre fans.
“This film is related, it’s in that Peckinpah realm,” Gibson said about Dragged Across Concrete, which made its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival but screened Tuesday night as the finale-night programming for this year’s Beyond Fest. The script follows malevolent men whose lives are defined by their codes or their compromises and challenged Gibson to distill his performance to bare essentials.
“I wanted to strip away a lot of stuff, all my bad mannerisms and bad habits and just channel one of my heroes, the great Lee Marvin,” Gibson said to cheers. “The character is a cynical guy and tried to reflect what was there on the page. In the script it doesn’t refer to my character by his name — it doesn’t call him Ridgeman — it calls him the ‘the grim fellow.’ That stuck with me. So I stayed as grim as possible.”
Marvin, interestingly, had been a front-runner to star in Peckinpah’s muddy-and-bloody 1969 classic in the memorable part of gang leader Pike Bishop. In the role, the dour William Holden led a historic ensemble — with Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan, Edmond O’Brien, Warren Oates, Jaime Sanchez and Ben Johnson — as it rode into cinema history with Peckinpah and his unflinching gunfighter epic.
“I thought it was a bad idea at first,” Gibson said in a post-event interview. “Why make The Wild Bunch again? Who would do that? I thought about it and I thought about it some more, and then I thought of a way [into the story]. A way to tell the story. So I’ve been sitting in a room with a writer and it’s been a blast. So it started as a bad idea, but it’s heading toward something that could be special. It’s about last chances and guys with lives of accrued violence. … Those guys [in the original film]? They laugh a lot, but it isn’t funny. “
The Western is Gibson’s first return to the director’s chair since Hacksaw Ridge, which co-starred Vaughn and earned Gibson his second career Oscar nomination as Best Director. He won the Academy Award for the 1995 historical epic Braveheart.
Gibson has a herd of projects in various stages, but The Wild Bunch has pushed to the fore. In the pipeline behind Destroyer, a remake of the World War II saga of the USS Laffey (which would reteam Gibson with Daddy’s Home 2 co-star Mark Wahlberg), and Berserker, a Viking epic set in Norse antiquity. Gibson is also directing The Passion of the Christ: Resurrection, a sequel to the controversial 2004 box office sensation that still reigns as the highest-grossing R-rated release in history.
“You write stuff and you never know, really, what’s going to happen with it,” said the 62-year-old Gibson, whose big-screen breakthrough came in George Miller’s 1979 classic Mad Max. “Some things take 10 years before anything happens at all; other things come together after nine weeks.”
Gibson next stars alongside Colin Farrell in director Tommy Wirkola’s War Pigs for Millennium. He’s repped by CAA. Bagby is CAA and Anonymous Content.
Vince Vaughn On Reteam With Mel Gibson In ‘Dragged Across Concrete’ – Venice(9/3/18) Vince Vaughn is back at the Venice Film Festival this year with a second-in-a-row starring role in a gritty crime thriller by Bone Tomahawk writer/director S. Craig Zahler. Last year, they were here for Brawl In Cell Block 99 and today will present Dragged Across Concrete out of competition. The film marks another reteam, this one with Mel Gibson who also stars and who previously directed Vaughn in 2016’s triumphant Hacksaw Ridge, which too made its debut on the Lido.
Dragged Across Concrete was well-received at its press screenings this morning and at an afternoon press conference. It pairs Vaughn and Gibson as cop partners who’ve put away enough criminals to fill two wings of a state penitentiary but don’t play enough politics to be rewarded on the job. When they’re suspended after video of an excessively forceful arrest turns up on the 7 o’clock news, they embark on a dangerous plan to secure their futures.
There are multiple storylines that converge with characters played by an ensemble that includes Michael Jai White, Tory Kittles, Udo Kier, Don Johnson, Laurie Holden and Jennifer Carpenter.
Zahler wanted Gibson for Concrete, and Vaughn encouraged him. Of the reteam, Vaughn said, “Mel is such a terrific filmmaker and Zahler has such a singular voice. He really sets out with a vision and doesn’t compromise on that, in an including wonderful way. With Mel being such a great filmmker, it was great to share the set with these guys.”
Vaughn won strong notices for his turn in last year’s Brawl and noted that Zahler’s characters “are all things. They’re not painted with one idea. You get people who are in conflict but you get to see why and the dualities and complexities of it.”
Zahler’s influences for Concrete include Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing and Sidney Lumet’s Prince Of The City and Dog Day Afternoon. “I’m interested in doing pieces where the world of the story is larger than just the plot.”
Racism is a theme in the film which includes some provocative discussion. Said Zahler, “I write to my taste, and in terms of reactions people will or may have aren’t really what I’m concerned with. I’m not chasing the biggest audience. I’m aware there are lines and moments in my films and books and future movies that will land poorly for some people or get people to hate me. That is your right. I have a right to do my own vision and hope it’s enough to get me to the next one.”
The $15M budget was bigger than any Zahler had worked with before. He joked it allowed him to “suffer,” but added, “It gave me more days so I could dig into the drama.”
Liongate is releasing domestically.
Mel Gibson, Colin Farrell To Star In Tommy Wirkola-Helmed ‘War Pigs’ For Millennium(7/31/18) Mel Gibson and Colin Farrell are set to star in War Pigs, a Millennium Films actioner that Tommy Wirkola will direct, with Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian producing through di Bonaventura Productions, along with Matt Berenson. Production is to start October.
Scripted by Nick Ball & John Niven, the project first got set up as The Takedown. A group of disillusioned ex-marines go on one last mission to get revenge on the cartel that murdered one of their own while making off with millions of dollars in drug money. Farrell plays Drex and Gibson plays The Pastor.
Gibson will make the movie before focusing on directing the WWII action film Destroyer with Mark Wahlberg starring, and financing being sewn up. Farrell wrapped the Steve McQueen-directed Widows and the Tim Burton-directed Dumbo, and will play Oliver North in an Amazon miniseries about the Iran Contra scandal. The Norwegian-born Wirkola directed Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, Dead Snow: Red Vs Dead and his most recent film, What Happened to Monday?, premiered last August on Netflix, with Noomi Rapace, Willem Dafoe and Glenn Close starring.
Gibson, Farrell and Wirkola are repped by CAA; Wirkola is also repped by Artists First and attorney Michael Schenkman.
Mel Gibson Attached to Direct World War II Drama ‘Destroyer’(4/30/18) (variety.com) Mel Gibson will direct World War II drama “Destroyer” in his first helming gig since receiving an Oscar nomination for “Hacksaw Ridge.”
“Destroyer” is being produced at Gianni Nunnari’s Hollywood Gang Productions. It’s based on the John Wukovits book “Hell From the Heavens: The Epic Story of the USS Laffey and World War II’s Greatest Kamikaze Attack.”
Rosalind Ross wrote the script, which centers on the Battle of Okinawa in April, 1945, when the ship withstood multiple kamikaze attacks and earned the nickname “The Ship That Would Not Die.” Wukovitz used personal interviews with survivors, the memoirs of crew members, and the sailors’ wartime correspondence to construct the story.
“Hacksaw Ridge” also portrayed the events surrounding the Battle of Okinawa, centering on the role of medic Desmond Doss in rescuing dozens of Allied soldiers. Gibson received his third Oscar nomination for his work as director. He won Oscars for best director and best picture for 1995’s “Braveheart.”
Gibson is also being eyed by Warner Bros. for a possible role in “The Six Billion Dollar Man” opposite Mark Wahlberg. The actors collaborated on the Paramount comedy “Daddy’s Home 2,” playing father and son.
Gibson is repped by Hanson Jacobson. The news was first reported by the Hollywood Reporter.
Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios Bags Joe Carnahan’s ‘Boss Level’ For U.S. Bow(4/17/18) Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios has acquired distribution rights to the $45M action-thriller Boss Level from writer-director Joe Carnahan. The film starrng Frank Grillo, Ken Jeong, Mel Gibson, and Naomi Watts will get a U.S. theatrical release next year from the studio. Entertainment Studios released the controversial Chappaquiddick on April 6.
The company acquired Boss Level from The Fyzz Facility and Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films. The film is about a retired U.S. Army Special Forces veteran (Grillo) trapped in a never-ending loop that results in his death every day. In order to stop his endless suffering, he must figure out who is responsible and stop them.
The film was financed by Emmett/Furla/Oasis and is produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian with Randall Emmett and George Furla; therefore, it is a co-production among Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films, Di Bonaventura Pictures, Carnahan and Grillo’s War Party, and Scott Free. Jules Daly is the exec producer.
In making the announcement, Allen said all the action and thriller elements come together with a great cast. “We are thrilled to have director Joe Carnahan at the helm to deliver what we believe will be a blockbuster.”
Allen’s ESMP has a multi-year output deal with Netflix and recently released 2017’s highest-grossing independent movie, the Mandy Moore-Claire Holt shark thriller 47 Meters Down, which has taken in more than $44M to date. It also released the critically acclaimed Christian Bale western Hostiles. Upcoming releases include the Keanu Reeves sci-fi thriller Replicas and the John Krasinski-Emily Blunt animated feature Animal Crackers.
The deal was negotiated by Chris Charalambous who is ESMP’s head of acquisitions and Wayne Marc Godfrey of The Fyzz Facility on behalf of Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films.
Mel Gibson, Robert Towne, Mike Medavoy Team On ‘Dancing Bear’ For USA Network(2/20/18) Mel Gibson, Oscar-winning screenwriter Robert Towne and Mike Medavoy are teaming on Dancing Bear, an adaptation of the hardboiled crime novel by the late James Crumley that is in the early stages at USA Network though Universal Cable Productions.
They haven’t greenlighted it yet, but Gibson is aboard to direct the pilot episode. He will be executive producer with Phoenix Pictures’ Medavoy and Edward McGurn and Icon’s Bruce Davey. Luisa Town, Anna Waterhouse and Lauren Weissman are co-executive producing. Towne also will be an executive producer.
Crumley’s novel is set in Montana and centers on part- time detective Milo Dragovitch, who becomes entangled with a cast of unsavory characters in a web of criminal conspiracies, blackmail, land grabs, grizzly bears, guns and drugs.
Said Gibson, “It’s basically Chinatown set in a 7-11 in Montana in the ’70s with a whole lot of cocaine.”
Towne, of course, won his Oscar for scripting Chinatown. He and Medavoy have been trying to crack this novel for a while, originally intending to make it a feature film. Towne has refashioned it as an hourlong pilot. The network would not comment.
“I’m thrilled to be working with Mel, whom I’ve known for years,” Medavoy said. “This is a project Robert Towne and I developed together back at TriStar, and I’m glad to see it finally find its medium in the television of today.”
Gibson’s last directorial outing was 2016’s Hacksaw Ridge, which was nominated for six Oscars and won two. Gibson was nominated for Best Director and that World War II film for Best Picture. Gibson won Oscars for Best Director and Best Director for 1996’s Braveheart.
Mel Gibson is repped by CAA and Robert Towne by Rand Holston of Paradigm.
Highland Boards Mel Gibson & Frank Grillo’s Action Drama ‘Boss Level’(2/17/18) Highland Film Group has come on board to handle international rights to Mel Gibson and Frank Grillo action drama Boss Level.
The company, which is led by Arianne Fraser and Delphine Perrier, is launching the Joe Carnahan-directed picture at Berlin and joins its EFM slate, which also includes Tye Sheridan’s The Night Clerk, Morgan Freeman’s The Manuscript and Margot Robbie’s Terminal.
The film follows a retired special forces veteran, played by Grillo, who is trapped in a never-ending loop resulting in his death. In order to stop his endless suffering, he must figure out who is responsible and stop them. Gibson plays Colonel Clive Ventor, the powerful head of a shadowy program. Carnahan wrote the script.
Gibson is coming off the back of S. Craig Zahler’s Dragged Across Concrete, which he starred in alongside Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Carpenter as well as Paramount’s Daddy’s Home 2 with Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg. Grillo, who starred in Captain America and the Purge franchise, recently starred in Netflix’s Wheelman and Wolf Warrior 2. He is set to star in brawl thriller Donnybrook and Netflix doc Fight World.
The film is financed by Emmett/Furla/Oasis, and produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian, and Randall Emmett and George Furla. It is a co-production between EFO, Di Bonaventura Pictures, Carnahan and Grillo’s War Party, and Scott Free, whose Jules Daly will be exec producer.
Gibson is repped by CAA, Grillo by CAA and Management 360, and Carnahan by CAA.
Mel Gibson Remains Tight-Lipped About 'Passion of the Christ' Sequel(2/1/18) Mel Gibson's not dishing out any details about the reported upcoming sequel to "The Passion of the Christ" ... even if everyone else can't shut up about it.
We got the 'Passion' director leaving E. Baldi restaurant Wednesday and asked if the big news is true -- will there be a 'Resurrection' to his 2004 blockbuster? He certainly doesn't deny it.
Gibson playfully suggests it's an industry secret, but with Jim Caviezel -- aka the dude who plays Jesus -- declaring Mel's sequel is going to be "the biggest film in history" ... it's fair to say the secret's out and the buzz has risen.
For the record, Gibson has talked publicly about a 'Passion' sequel ... telling Stephen Colbert in 2016 the project was about 3 years away. It's just way more real now.
What Mel Gibson thinks of Harvey Weinstein(11/22/17) Mel Gibson — no stranger to offensive behavior — said the allegations leveled against pervy producer Harvey Weinstein are “painful,” but will trigger “healthy” change in the industry.
“Things got shaken up a little bit and there is a lot of light being thrown into places where there were shadows and that is kind of healthy,” the actor and Oscar-winning director said.
“It’s painful, but I think pain is a precursor to change,” Gibson said while promoting his latest flick, “Daddy’s Home 2,” his first comedy in more than 10 years, the Guardian reported.
In 2011, he pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor battery charge against former gal pal Oksana Grigorieva, with whom he has an 8-year-old daughter, Lucia.
The year before, it was reported that Gibson was heard in leaked tapes using racist language and threatening to kill Grigorieva. He is also alleged to have said she deserved to be beaten with a bat.
In 2006, Gibson unleashed an anti-Semitic tirade against a police officer in Malibu, California, who had pulled him over for drunken driving.
He accused “f—- Jews” of being responsible for “all the wars in the world” and threatened to pee on the floor of a police station.
Gibson was convicted of drunken driving for the ugly episode and completed the terms of his three-year probation.
“I acted like a person completely out of control when I was arrested … I disgraced myself and my family with my behavior, and for that I am truly sorry,” he said in a mea culpa statement after the incident.
“I have battled with the disease of alcoholism for all of my adult life and profoundly regret my horrific relapse.”
Last year, he took aim at the cop who collared him, as well as the media.
“It was an unfortunate incident. I was loaded and angry and arrested. I was recorded illegally by an unscrupulous police officer who was never prosecuted for that crime,” he said, according to the Guardian.
“And then it was made public by him for profit, and by members of — we’ll call it the press. So, not fair. I guess as who I am, I’m not allowed to have a nervous breakdown, ever.”
Mel Gibson, Frank Grillo In Talks For Joe Carnahan-Directed ‘Boss Level’(11/15/17) Mel Gibson and Frank Grillo are in talks to star in Boss Level, an action thriller that Joe Carnahan will direct next year. The premise: Every day, a retired special forces veteran (Grillo) is trapped in a never-ending loop resulting in his death. In order to stop his endless suffering, he must figure out who is responsible and stop them. Carnahan wrote the script.
The film will be financed by Emmett/Furla/Oasis, and produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian, and Randall Emmett and George Furla. It is a co-production between EFO, Di Bonaventura Pictures, Carnahan and Grillo’s War Party, and Scott Free, whose Jules Daly will be exec producer.
Gibson comes to this after the successful opening of Daddy’s Home 2 at Paramount Pictures. He is getting close to securing indie financing for the film he will direct on the ruthless Italian banking family The Medicis to follow his Best Picture nominee Hacksaw Ridge. Other films he is plotting as an actor includes a re-team with Danny Glover and director Dick Donner for another Lethal Weapon film at Warner Bros.
Grillo just worked with EFO on the action film Reprisal, and starred in the Netflix film Wheelman.
Gibson is repped by CAA, Grillo by CAA and Management 360, and Carnahan by CAA.
Mel Gibson Makes His Major Onscreen Comeback in Daddy’s Home 2: Inside His Return from Scandal(11/10/17) (People.com) After making a comeback with his Oscar-winning directorial effort Hacksaw Ridge last year, Mel Gibson is now stepping back in front of the camera for the new comedy, Daddy’s Home 2.
The film tells the story of a father and stepfather, played by Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, whose cozy relationship is put to the test when their fathers come to visit for Christmas. Gibson stars as Wahlberg’s old school, tough-guy dad, who is the exact opposite of Ferrel’s overly affectionate dad, played by John Lithgow.
Gibson’s character in the comedy, his first family film in over a decade (his last movie was the 2016 action thriller Blood Father), seems to be a nod to the actor’s past reputation as a Hollywood bad boy. Ferrell told the NY Daily News he believes the new comedy will help Gibson become a regular onscreen appearance once again.
“I think this was kind of a fun thing for him to step outside, be on camera after having an absence for a while, and also (doing) a family, PG-13 comedy was something he hasn’t really done,” the Saturday Night Live alum said. “I think if he chooses to do more of that, he’s going to be more than back.”
While promoting Hacksaw Ridge last year, Gibson’s old controversies came back to light, and in interviews, he talked about getting sober and refocusing himself after past scandals.
“Mel has showed some remorse over his past behavior,” a source previously told PEOPLE. “He was very stubborn about it for a long time. He now realizes that it was a distraction from his work. Mel wants to be remembered for his work. He has worked on his issues and has definitely shaped up.”
Gibson, now 61, faced intense scrutiny and public outrage in the wake of his 2006 arrest for drunk driving and a subsequent anti-Semitic rant. He also made headlines four years later after an audio recording surfaced in which he can be heard going on a profanity-laced tirade against then-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva, amid claims that he had assaulted her. (The actor admitted to slapping Grigorieva, but said it was done in order to stop her from shaking their then-1-year-old baby, Lucia.)
His response to past indiscretions have drawn criticism over the years. While promoting Hacksaw Ridge, Gibson told Variety of his 2006 arrest, “I was loaded and angry and arrested. I was recorded illegally by an unscrupulous police officer who was never prosecuted for that crime. And then it was made public by him for profit, and by members of — we’ll call it the press. So, not fair. I guess as who I am, I’m not allowed to have a nervous breakdown, ever.”
Similarly, during an appearance on The Tonight Show, when host Steven Colbert accused Gibson of going through some “rough patches,” the actor corrected him to “rough patch.” He added, “It’s a pity that one has to be defined with a label from, you know, having a nervous breakdown in the back of a police car from a bunch of double tequilas, but that’s what it is. Now, you know, this is not — that moment shouldn’t define the rest of my life.”
Later in the show, Gibson did acknowledge that if he had to give his younger self advice, he would say “to shut the f— up.”
He also expressed remorse over his behavior towards Grigorieva with Deadline about a year after the incident. In his first public comments since the tapes leaked, Gibson said he regretted his remarks, but added, “Who anticipates being recorded? Who anticipates that? Who could anticipate such a personal betrayal?”
During an interview with Australian media last year, Gibson revealed that he’s been sober for a decade now. “I am a member of [the] 12-step program and I achieved sobriety like that,” Gibson said. “I’ve got 10 years of sobriety under my belt.”
He also opened up to Variety about his past controversies at the time, saying on its “Playback” podcast: “10 years have gone by. I’m feeling good. I’m sober, all that kind of stuff, and for me it’s a dim thing in the past.”
In March, Zane Buzby, the founder of the Survivor Mitzvah Project, revealed that Gibson had been quietly working with the charity and was making a large impact. “Mel Gibson is helping Holocaust survivors in eight countries, it’s remarkable,” she told Extra. “I have a great respect for people who turn their lives around, and I think that everyone makes mistakes in life, and I think the real proof of what kind of human being you are is what you do with that mistake.”
In addition to his new movie, Gibson has been busy raising his ninth child, Lars, born in January, with his girlfriend Rosalind Ross.
“Mel seems genuinely excited about the baby. It was a surprise, but Mel seems very happy,” a source told PEOPLE last year. “He says having kids is making him to stay young. He loves being a dad.” The source also said that Gibson “has a good relationship” with Lucia, his 6-year-old daughter with Grigorieva.
Daddy’s Home 2 hits theaters today.
‘Lethal Weapon’ 5? Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Dick Donner Exploring It At Warner Bros.(10/27/17) It looks like the band just might back together. Deadline hears that Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Richard Donner are all huddling on the possibility of doing another film for the the Lethal Weapon franchise. In the scenario we’ve heard Donner would direct and Channing Gibson (Lethal Weapon 4) would script. There are many moving parts, but we’ve heard that all are on board and exploring another film. It would move forward, of course, at Warner Bros., the studio that has brought audiences four in the franchise. The buddy action comedy was a major hit for the studio under the Bob Daly, Terry Semel regime when it first launched in 1987 and together the four have pulled in $955.2M worldwide. The last one was released in 1998. The film also spawned a TV series as well.
The Lethal Weapon film franchise followed an LAPD homcide cop (Glover) who is partnered with another cop who was transferred over from the narc squad (Gibson). They are reluctantly paired with very different ideas of policing and have an ongoing feud until the must rely on each other for their lives.
This list of Hollywood’s most profitable stars is hard to believe(10/18/17) The most profitable actor in Hollywood isn’t Brad Pitt, Robert Downey Jr. or Dwayne Johnson — it’s Emilio Estevez. And there’s research to prove it.
Analysts from PartyCasino, a unit of the GVC gaming group, have studied box-office data from 1980 to 2017 and found that the “Young Guns” star delivered the best return of any top-billed male actor who has starred in at least 10 films. Specifically, for every $1 spent on the leading man’s films, Estevez generated $6.70 at the box office.
The male actors who generated the next best returns were just as surprising. Jean-Claude Van Damme raked in $4.20 for each dollar, while other great investments were Mel Gibson ($3.50), Tyler Perry ($3) and Dudley Moore ($3).
The results for the worst return also left researchers stunned.
Brad Pitt returned only 10 cents for every $1 spent, making him the least-profitable actor in Hollywood. The “Ocean’s Eleven” star was followed by Johnny Depp (20 cents), Robert De Niro (24 cents), Hugh Jackman (25 cents) and Anthony Hopkins (26 cents).
PartyCasino also crunched the numbers for actresses from the past decade and found that Rose Byrne scored the best return — $9.80 for every budgeted dollar — followed by Regina Hall ($3.50) and Octavia Spencer ($2.90).
A rep told The Post that the reason they didn’t have the extended data for actresses was because “women, unfortunately, are less likely to be the top-billed actor for a movie.”
PartyCasino compiled its list by analyzing the top 100 films in each year since 1980. Researchers took each movie’s gross from Box Office Mojo, which tracks receipts from theaters in the US and Canada, and subtracted each movie’s budget. The difference — dubbed “profit” by analysts — was then divided by each movie’s budget to determine its ROI, or return on investment.
When it came to movie genres, mysteries proved to be the most profitable — returning $39.89 for each budgeted dollar over the 37-year period.
Horror flicks had the second-highest ROI, with $34.13, followed by thrillers ($17.36) and documentaries ($7.38).
Action movies were the least profitable films — generating $1.89 for each budget dollar, followed by crime pictures ($2.01) and musicals ($2.05).
Voltage Bests Director In Battle Over Mel Gibson’s ‘The Professor & The Madman’(9/24/17) The multi-front legal battle between Voltage Pictures and seemingly everyone else over the Mel Gibson and Sean Penn starrer The Professor and The Madman saw a federal judge stop the efforts of the film’s director to stop the pic from going forward.
“Plaintiff fails to satisfy the necessary four-prong test for a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction,” wrote U.S. District Judge Consuelo Marshall on Friday in an order rejecting Farhad Safinia desire (read it here) to halt and snatch the latest cut of the film about the origins of the Oxford Dictionary from being shown to potential buyers due to copyright infringement and defamation.
“Plaintiff fails to demonstrate that he is likely to suffer irreparable harm absent a preliminary injunction,” the judge added in her order, noting documents submitted on September 21 by Voltage against long time Gibson collaborator Safinia showing the director signed over his rights to the Madman script on August 21, 2016 in a work for hire agreement. “Plaintiff fails to demonstrate ownership of a valid copyright,” the Jimmy Carter appointed Marshall summarized on September 22.
The feature adaptation of Simon Winchester’s 1998 book The Surgeon of Crowthorne: A Tale of Murder, Madness and the Love of Words sees the ex-Mad Max as Professor James Murray, who began work on the dictionary in 1857. Fellow Oscar winner Penn plays Dr. William Chester Minor, who submitted more than 10,000 entries to the effort while he was an inmate at an asylum for the criminally insane. Former Game of Thrones actor Natalie Dormer and upcoming Liar star Ioan Gruffudd also are in Madman.
“Plaintiff has not provided sufficient evidence that he will suffer harm to his reputation simply because he is identified as the screenwriter and director of the film in various promotional materials,” Marshall concludes of Boss creator Safinia’s objections to the creative and sales attempts by Voltage. “Nor does Plaintiff provide any evidence that the value of his screenplay will diminish if Defendants are not enjoined immediately.”
Of course, with parts of Madman supposedly screening to distributors at Cannes in May, Salinia’s case is part of a larger brawl.
First filed on September 19 by Salinia, this scrap with Voltage comes after Gibson and his Icon Productions partner Bruce Davey put paperwork forth themselves in L.A. Superior Court early this summer. In that action, the Oscar winner and crew sought a jury trial for a breach of contract complaint against the Nicolas Chartier run financing, production and distribution company over changes and final cut of their self described “labor of love.”
Icon insist that Voltage “disregarded their contractual obligations” with alterations to the Madman script, potential director changes, and location approvals among others.
Having attracted his fair share of the spotlight over the years, Hurt Locker and Dallas Buyers Club producer Chartier had his Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump and Aldisert LLP lawyer Jeremiah Tracy Reynolds hit back with a motion to toss that case out. That demurrer doubted that Icon was harmed at all by Voltage’s actions on the film and are simply engaged in an “amorphous request for contract damages.”
A point of view that Voltage additionally asserted in what was their successful upbraiding to Safinia’s TRO case
“The true motive behind Plaintiff’s bogus copyright infringement lawsuit is a continuing effort by Plaintiff, along with his collaborators, Mel Gibson and Bruce Davey, to improperly coerce the financiers of the Picture to shoot additional scenes in Oxford, England, at a cost of approximately $2.5 million, despite the fact that the motion picture has already gone over budget and into overtime,” the company stated on September 21. Voltage also noted that Salinia neglected to mention in his filing “highly respected screenwriters Todd Kormanicki and John Boorman are listed as his co-writers on the final shooting script for the motion picture because they wrote prior versions of the script.”
According to Judge Marshall’s order and a declaration submitted by Chartier, The Professor and The Madman is still being edited and the producers “do not anticipate distribution before the end of 2017.”
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan attorneys Jeffery McFarland, Shahin Rezvani and Aaron Perahia are representing Apocalypto co-screenwriter Safinia in the matter.
‘Daddy’s Home 2’ Trailer: Mel Gibson, John Lithgow Pop In Ferrell-Wahlberg Comedy(Video) Not to be outdone by some bad moms this holiday season, Paramount Pictures just released a new trailer for Daddy’s Home 2, the second installment in the Will Ferrell- Mark Wahlberg competing fathers franchise, this time around adding grandpas Mel Gibson and John Lithgow.
Tough guy Gibson plays tough guy Wahlberg’s pop, with Lithgow as Ferrell’s touchy-feely-kissy old man.
In this sequel to the 2015 Daddy’s Home, father and stepfather Dusty (Wahlberg) and Brad (Ferrell) have joined forces to provide their kids with the perfect Christmas. Their newfound partnership is put to the test when Dusty’s old-school, macho Dad (Gibson) and Brad’s ultra-affectionate and emotional Dad (Lithgow) arrive just in time to throw the holiday into complete chaos.
“Dear God,” says Ferrell when he first lays eyes on Gibson. “This is gonna come off weird, Dusty, but he’s beautiful.” Disaster looms.
Directed by Sean Anders, Daddy’s Home 2 also stars Linda Cardellini and John Cena.
Daddy’s Home 2 hits theaters November 10.
Mel Gibson Sues Producers Over “Labor Of Love” Pic About Oxford Dictionary OriginsLawsuit: a claim or dispute brought to a law court for adjudication. That’s how the Oxford English Dictionary defines what Mel Gibson and h Bruce Davey have filed against the producers of The Professor and the Madman, a film the longtime Icon Productions partners have been trying to get made for nearly two decades.
In a 21-page suit filed today in Los Angeles Superior Court (read it here), Gibson and Davey claim that producer they had “various contracts” with producer Voltage Pictures and other defendants to co-produce the film about the origins of the Oxford Dictionary. Gibson is attached to star in the director Farhad Safinia’s film — which the suit describes as “a labor of love for Messrs. Gibson and Davey” — as Professor James Murray, who began compiling the dictionary in 1857, and Sean Penn is set to play Dr. William Chester Minor, who submitted more than 10,000 entries while he was an inmate at an asylum for the criminally insane.
The suit says: “The Agreements require that things such as material changes to the screenplay, change of director from Mr. Safinia to someone else, the final production budget and schedule, and selection of filming locations be agreed to by Icon and Mr. Gibson. … Principal photography of the Picture commenced in Fall 2016. From the outset, Defendants disregarded their contractual obligations under the Agreements. Among other things, Defendants failed to provide lcon — much less get its approval of — a final budget for the Picture. Despite a clear requirement to do so, Defendants failed to secure a completion bond, and as such there is no completion guarantor to break a tie in disputes between the parties on budget or shot in part in Oxford, England, Defendants refused to allow critical scenesfrom the agreed upon screenplay ‘to be shot there. Frther, Defendants prevented Mr. Safinia from completing the Picture in accordance with the agreed upon screenplay, and thereby prevented Mr. Safinia from producing a cut of the film to be considered by Mr. Gibson in his selection of the final cut, if required.”
Seeking a jury trial, the suit claims breach of contract and fiduciary duty, promissory fraud and more. Attorneys Shahin Rezvani and Aaron Perahia of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLC in Los Angeles are representing Icon and its partners in the suit.
Mel Gibson, Danny Glover honor ‘f—king genius’ Richard DonnerRichard Donner’s big heart — and bigger voice — commanded attention at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ tribute to the director-producer on Wednesday night in Beverly Hills.
“He has a voice that gets the attention of people getting on the bus two blocks away,” said John Savage, who appeared in Donner’s “Inside Moves.”
“You have brought us such joy and we love you for it,” said AMPAS President Cheryl Boone Isaacs at the opening of the tribute.
The two-hour program at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater mixed anecdotes with heartfelt tributes and clips from 1978’s “Superman: The Movie,” along with “The Omen,” the “Lethal Weapon” films, ” “Radio Flyer,” “The Goonies,” “Scrooged,” “Ladyhawke,” “Inside Moves” and “Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut.”
DC Entertainment president Geoff Johns and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige — who both once interned for Donner — followed Boone Isaacs to the stage. The rivals expressed particular admiration for “Superman: The Movie” as setting the standard for superhero films, with Feige saying it’s still required viewing for him when he’s making greenlight decisions.
Johns also recounted having to explain to Donner that a car carrier had destroyed the producer’s vehicle on the Warner Bros. lot while Johns was at the wheel. He started by saying, “I think you’re going to fire me.”
He recalled that Donner blew it off since the vehicle had been a gift.
A trio of “Goonies” stars — Jeff Cohen, Ke Huy-Quan, and Corey Feldman — also offered tributes, with Cohen noting that he had asked Donner to write him a letter of recommendation for college. Donner agreed to that and even paid all his tuition fees.
“I’m grateful that I got to work on ‘The Goonies,’ but more grateful for his friendship,” said Cohen, who played Chunk in the movie.
Feldman choked up as he thanked Donner for picking up the cost of his drug rehab, adding, “I didn’t really have a father and Richard filled that spot.”
Lauren Shuler Donner, the director’s spouse of three decades, evoked a major laugh by recalling his reaction to discovering that she was getting a divorce from her prior husband. “The first thing he did was throw me into the pool,” she recalled.
David Morse, Joseph Mazzello, Brian Helgeland, and Carol Kane also honored Donner.
The evening also saw a re-teaming of “Lethal Weapon” stars Mel Gibson, Danny Glover and Rene Russo. Glover told Gibson, “I forgive you for doing ‘Passion of the Christ’ without me in it.”
Gibson said of Donner, “There’s true humility about the man; he refers to himself as a traffic cop, but he’s a f—ing genius.”
Donner joined the trio on stage after footage of a bathroom explosion in “Lethal Weapon 2” and a make-out scene between Gibson and Russo in “Lethal Weapon 3.” Donner said he had prepared a speech, but found it inadequate in the face of all the tributes.
“I assume if I’m not around, it’s a totally different conversation,” he added. “From the heart, I love everyone who was up here. This industry is my friend. I love it. I never thought I’d say this, but I want to thank the Academy.”
Mel Gibson threw ashtray through a wall during ‘Braveheart’ talksMel Gibson flipped out during negotiations regarding the “Braveheart” budget, and he almost passed on the Oscar-winning flick, a new excerpt from “Leading Lady” in The Hollywood Reporter reveals.
The revelation from the book of former Paramount CEO Sherry Lansing describes when Gibson got frustrated over Paramount’s offer to put up less than expected for “Braveheart.”
“He grabbed a large glass ashtray and threw it through the wall. He threw the ashtray through the wall!” agent Jeff Berg describes in the book.
Gibson himself explains in “Leading Lady,” “I was like, ‘What the f–k do you people mean? I turned down three jobs — blah, blah, blah.’ I was kind of upset, probably a little over the top. It was all posturing bulls–t.”
The actor said at the time of the film he was in his “Bradley Cooper–Leo DiCaprio stage,” or his late 30s. Eventually, the actor agreed to direct and star in the hugely successful flick.
“Leading Lady” is out April 25 from Crown Archetype.
Mel Gibson is back after a decade in Hollywood exileRight now, no one in Hollywood has a more dramatic villain-turned-hero story than Mel Gibson. After a decade-long, self-inflicted trip to hell, the actor/director is back on top with six Oscar nominations for his film “Hacksaw Ridge,” including Best Director for Gibson himself.
“Guys like Leo [DiCaprio], Tom Hardy and Bradley Cooper are dying to work with him,” one studio exec told The Post. At his rock bottom, Gibson was dumped by agency WME; now he’s been picked up by flashier powerhouse CAA.
So how did the man who a year ago was considered a Hollywood pariah — guilty of racism, misogyny and homophobia — manage to come back smiling?
As always, money talks: “Hacksaw Ridge” has made $174.9 million at the box office worldwide.
“Hollywood is so fickle,” said one box-office expert. “They don’t forgive [just because] you have life s – – t going on. They know addicts can make great artists. But can they make money? That’s the real question.”
In the 1980s and ’90s, Gibson was an A-list quadruple threat, able to handily tackle comedy, action, drama and romance. Known for his devout Catholicism, he was also a family man and dad to seven kids with then-wife Robyn. People anointed him “Sexiest Man Alive” in 1985.
Still, Gibson’s brutal outspokenness raised hackles. He made homophobic statements to a Spanish newspaper in 1991; when GLAAD requested an apology, the actor told Playboy, “when hell freezes over.” After New York Times writer Frank Rich criticized the director’s “The Passion of the Christ,” Gibson told The New Yorker, “I want his intestines on a stick.”
Fueled by alcohol, things went off the rails in 2006. When he was picked up for a DUI near Malibu, Calif., Gibson told a police officer, “Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.” He called a female officer on the scene “sugar tits” and bragged that he owned Malibu.
A month later, he separated from his wife of nearly three decades. Friends including Amy Pascal, then the head of Sony, turned on him.
In 2010, transcripts surfaced of epic misogynistic and racist rants taped by former girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva, with quotes including “If you get raped by a pack of [N-words], it will be your fault.” She claimed he had punched her on the head and face more than once. (Gibson, who stated he had slapped Grigorieva to get her to stop shaking their baby daughter, pleaded no contest to a charge of misdemeanor battery in 2011 and served no jail time.)
Hollywood drew the line. WME head Ari Emanuel fired Gibson. A role in the sequel to “The Hangover 2” was nixed.
Gibson worked on a handful of films, but none made a blip (ever heard of “Get the Gringo”?). That is, until he directed “Hacksaw Ridge,” the true story of a WWII soldier who refused to use weaponry but saved 75 lives.
At first, “No studio would touch it,” said David Permut, a producer along with Bill Mechanic and Terry Benedict. “It was a rough go. We had to raise [$40 million] independently.
“Mel was misjudged by so many people,” he added. “The man was in a life crisis back then: a painful divorce, alcoholism, [Hollywood] turning on him.”
But when Lionsgate saw a cut of the film in April 2016, Permut recalled, the studio said, ‘‘?‘You get a November release and an Oscar campaign.’ After a 10-minute standing ovation [at] the Venice Film Fest last summer, I knew Mel was back.”
“Hacksaw Ridge” star Andrew Garfield, nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor, can’t seem to walk a red carpet without talking about his respect for the director.
“One thing that was always true is that Mel Gibson’s a great filmmaker. That’s why the directors’ branch of the Academy nominated him for Best Director — they respect craft,” said one member of the Academy.
Friends claim that Gibson, 61, is different now. The biggest change, one said, “is Mel stopped drinking. Then he apologized till he was blue in the face. He gave millions to Jewish causes.”
He’s also said to be happy with his girlfriend of two years, screenwriter Rosalind Ross. The 26-year-old gave birth to their son, Lars, the same week Oscar nominations were announced.
Pascal and Emanuel are back in the fold. Gibson just shot “The Professor and the Madman” with Sean Penn and will star in “Daddy’s Home 2.” He’s producing a TV show, “The Barbary Coast,” starring Kurt Russell and Kate Hudson. “And he’s being chased to direct the sequel to ‘Suicide Squad,’?” said one agent. “He’s the hottest guy in town.”
“Still,” the Academy member said, “I don’t forgive him. I don’t forgive Woody Allen, either. But at some point, you have to separate the artist from the art.”
Razzies 2017 Winners AnnouncedRazzie Redeemer Award: Mel Gibson / Hacksaw Ridge
Mel Gibson loses money on California home saleMel Gibson has unloaded his Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired house in Sherman Oaks, California, for $2.1 million.
Gibson, 61, who is up for his first Oscar since winning best director for “Braveheart” in 1996 for “Hacksaw Ridge,” took a modest loss on the property, which he bought in 2009 for $2.4 million. Property records show Gibson bought the home under a trust with Vicki Lynn Christianson, the COO of Mel Gibson’s production company Icon Productions, as trustee.
The buyer does not yet appear in online property records.
The home was built in 2006, just a few years before Gibson bought the property. It has four bedrooms, four bathrooms and numerous details playing off Wright’s Prairie-style architecture, according to a listing with Joyce Blackburn of Realty Executives. The listing confirmed the sale of the property, though Blackburn was not immediately available for comment.
The architect behind Gibson’s former home mimicked Wright’s theory of building flat-roofed, horizontal homes meant to fit the flat prairie landscape of the Midwest, where the iconic architect was from. By contrast, this house sits in the rolling foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains.
Images show stained-glass windows in the home, including an elaborate front door, that have the same colorful geometric patterns found in Wright’s iconic buildings, including a wheat motif — another nod to the Midwest. Other elements borrowed from the master architect include wood beam and trim contrasting against white paint and walls of continuous windows, photos of the home show.
The house also has a flagstone courtyard with a fountain, skylights and Viking appliances.
For a while, the house reportedly served as the residence for Gibson’s former partner and the mother of his daughter, Oksana Grigorieva, 46. As per their custody agreement, Grigorieva, a Russian musician, and their daughter, Lucia, were meant to live in the Sherman Oaks home until the child turned 18. It’s not clear whether the terms of that agreement had changed.
Gibson is also poised to take an even steeper loss on a property in Agoura Hills. The modest, one-bedroom cottage, is now in contract to sell for around $699,000, according to listing records. That’s an eye-popping hit for the star director, who bought the home through a trust for $2.15 million in 2007, according to property records.
A publicist for Gibson did not immediately return request for comment.
Mel Gibson under fire for upcoming police brutality filmHollywood conservatives Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn are set to star in the upcoming thriller “Dragged Across Concrete” about two police officers who are caught on camera using strong-arm tactics.
Already the social mediaverse is buzzing about the film, which hasn’t even been made yet, with some speculating that the movie will lean right.
“’Dragged Across Concrete’ sounds like Conservative porn,” one Twitter user wrote.
Vaughn openly identified himself as a conservative during a radio interview with Adam Carolla in 2015. Meanwhile, Gibson’s been discussing his conservative views for some time, telling Barbara Walters in a 1990 interview regarding abortion, “One can’t decide for oneself who comes into this world and who doesn’t. That decision doesn’t belong to us.”
So are these A-listers receiving criticism for a movie no one has even seen just because they’re conservatives?
“When actors interject themselves into political debates, or are mired in public controversies, it alters our perception…,” said branding and communications expert Scott Pinsker. “It’s a far greater challenge for right-of-center actors because Hollywood and the media veer left, and all the criticism is amplified.”
Dan Gainor, VP of business and culture at the Media Research Center, took it one step further, claiming that the actors’ political affiliations make them ripe for attacks.
“Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn could be cast together in a remake of ‘Captain Kangaroo’ and the left would find a way to be outraged. In this case, they want to do more than prejudge the movie,” said Gainor. “Their comments are meant to intimidate and push the movie into an approved left-wing spin.”
One actor who is not buying the hype is Dean Cain.
Cain told Fox News, “It’s an overreaction. These are two extremely talented filmmakers who are making a film. Judge the film after you see it, not before. The subject matter is important and current.”
And Dr. Treva Lindsey, assistant professor of women’s, gender and sexuality studies at Ohio State University, agreed, saying the film is timely, as police brutality is a “hot topic” right now. But she slammed the casting of Gibson due to his controversial past.
Gibson has long been shunned in Hollywood since an anti-Semitic tirade while being arrested for drunk driving in 2006 and a 2011 conviction for domestic violence.
“Why Mel Gibson?” Lindsey said. “That question makes sense. The question of the value of the film is perhaps a tad pre-emptive.”
Fox News reached out to the film’s director, S. Craig Zahler, but did not receive comment.
Mel Gibson, John Lithgow Circling ‘Daddy’s Home’ SequelParamount Pictures is courting Mel Gibson and John Lithgow to star in the sequel to Daddy’s Home, opposite Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg. Gary Sanchez produces. For Gibson, this comes after the success of Hacksaw Ridge, which is nominated for six Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director. Lithgow just won the SAG Award for The Crown. Offers are out and it looks promising, if they can work out the deal. Stay tuned.
Gibson is repped by CAA; Lithgow by UTA and Anonymous Content.
Oscars: Mel Gibson Back In The Club With ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ NominationsFrom the moment it world premiered at the Venice Film Festival in September, Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge seemed to signal a sea-change in perception of the director. Couple that with Gibson’s recent signing with CAA — the first time he has agency representation since 2010 — and today’s Oscar noms, Hollywood has clearly brought Gibson back into the fold. This comes on the back of a spectacular film that was made outside the system. Cross Creek, Demarest Films and IM Global financed with the latter acquiring international rights for about half the film’s $40M budget.
Gibson had spent the past decade lying low, following a self-inflicted tabloid trail that began with anti-Semitic comments uttered during a drunken tirade in the back of a cop car that got him ostracized by the industry. During the subsequent period, he did not beg for absolution, but he did make a great film. Today’s Best Director Oscar nomination — despite a lack of recognition from the DGA last week — certainly appears to have pulled up a chair again for him at the Hollywood table.
Hacksaw, which scored six nominations total today, kicked off in Venice and bypassed the other fall festivals. It was greeted by a 10-minute standing ovation on the Lido and huzzahs from critics. It was a savvy move to lead with international which is less concerned with Hollywood flip-flopping. The term “comeback” was ubiquitous. Box office has also been hearty, worldwide.
The film is the story of real-life conscientious objector Desmond T Doss (Andrew Garfield in the film and an Oscar nominee today) who saved 75 men in Okinawa without ever firing or carrying a gun. The faith-based title and horrors-of-war action drama is about a man who “does something extraordinary and supernatural, really, that inspired me,” Gibson told the Venice press corps. “A lot of attention needs to be paid to our warriors; they need some love and understanding. I hope this film imparts that message. If it does nothing but that, that’s great,” said Gibson.
Following today’s Oscar nominations, Gibson paid tribute to his team and the soldiers. “What could be more exciting than listening to the nominations being announced while holding my new born son in my arms! This is a truly wonderful honor. I’m especially happy for Andrew Garfield, our producers Bill Mechanic and David Permut, our editor John Gilbert and our incredible sound teams. The Academy’s recognition of our film is a testament to every single person who worked on Hacksaw Ridge, and to every soldier who made the sacrifices they made to fight for their country, including Desmond Doss.”
This is the first film Gibson has directed since Apocalypto. It’s also 14 years since The Passion Of The Christ became the biggest-grossing indie picture of all time and the biggest R-rated film until Deadpool finally surpassed it last year. Perhaps more importantly, it’s been 21 years since his Braveheart won the Best Director and Best Picture Oscars.
Leaving awards aside, box office success was not guaranteed on this film and yet it has been a winner, notably in China where it recently received an extended run. Lionsgate released it domestically in the heart of awards season on November 4 and the gross there to date is $61.8M. Internationally, Hacksaw crossed $100M global in December and is now at $100.9M. Well-timed, the UK and Germany open this weekend, and there are still several other big markets, who gambled on awards recognition, to follow.
IM Global’s Stuart Ford tells Deadline, “Everyone at IM Global is delighted for Mel, producers Bill Mechanic and David Permut, our partners at Cross Creek and AI and the rest of the Hacksaw team. This movie was a leap of faith for all of us and it’s been a long, hard but ultimately rewarding road. The film’s continued global box office success has also been a terrific and very timely boost for our partners in the international distribution community.”
Oscar Nominations: Film ScorecardsNOMS BY FILM (2 or more)
La La Land – 14
Arrival – 8
Moonlight – 8
Hacksaw Ridge – 6
Lion – 6
Manchester By The Sea – 6
Fences – 4
Hell Or High Water – 4
Hidden Figures – 3
Jackie – 3
Deepwater Horizon – 2
Fantastic Beasts And Where to Find Them – 2
Florence Foster Jenkins – 2
Kubo And The Two Strings – 2
A Man Called Ove – 2
Moana – 2
Passengers – 2
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – 2.
LA LA LAND
MANCHESTER BY THE SEA
Mel Gibson welcomes his ninth childMel Gibson is officially a father for the ninth time.
The 61-year-old actor and his 20-something girlfriend, Rosalind Ross, welcomed a baby boy on Saturday, his rep confirmed to Page Six.
They named the baby Lars Gerard Gibson and he weighed in at five pounds, five ounces.
“They’re thrilled and Lars is adorable,” a source told People, who first reported the news, “Their family is all around them and Mel is over the moon. They’re home and everybody is healthy and happy!”
This is the first baby for the couple, who have been together for two years.
Gibson has seven children with his ex-wife Robyn Moore and one daughter with ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva.
The pair recently stepped out together at the 2017 Golden Globes where he was nominated for directing the drama “Hacksaw Ridge.”
Mel Gibson Signs With CAAIn what amounts to another important step toward putting a once-great career back on track, Hacksaw Ridge director Mel Gibson has signed with CAA. This comes a day after his longtime manager (and former CAA agent) Rick Nicita closed his management company to focus on producing. It is the first time Gibson will have been repped by an agency since 2010, when WME dropped him. All this comes in the wake of critical and financial success for Hacksaw Ridge, the first film that Gibson has directed since 2006’s Apocalypto. The film has grossed over $160M worldwide on a $40 million budget, and just received a PGA nomination, on top of BAFTA, Golden Globe and other accolades, heading into Oscar nominations.
By his own admission, Gibson spent a decade away from directing because of the publicity he received mostly for making anti-Semitic comments in the back of a police car after being arrested for drunk driving. Long sober, he told Deadline he regrets those comments, and believe the problems that caused them are in his rear view mirror. Signing with CAA will help continue his momentum as an actor and a filmmaker whose Braveheart won Best Picture and Best Director Oscars, and whose The Passion of the Christ remains the largest domestic grossing R rated film (even though its $611.9 million WW gross was surpassed by Deadpool). Gibson is almost done starring with Sean Penn in The Professor and the Madman, and is booked to star in the Benjamin Rocher-directed Every Other Weekend. As director, he has been developing several projects. Atop that list is a film on the Italian banking family The Medicis, the Viking epic Berserker, and a Passion sequel that Braveheart scribe Randall Wallace is scripting. He is also teamed with Kurt Russell, Kate Hudson and Nicita on the gold rush TV series The Barbary Coast.
‘Hacksaw Ridge’ To Pass $100M At Int’l Box Office This WeekendMel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge, the film that follows real World War II hero Desmond Doss into hell and back on the battlefield as he saved the lives of 75 men driven by his faith and sheer force of will, is set to pass $100 million internationally at the box office this weekend for distributor IM Global. The film already has crossed $150M worldwide. All told, the film has taken in $65.6M domestically to date as we head into the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday — a heavier-than-usual moviegoing weekend. Lionsgate/Summit is handling the film in the U.S. market while Elevation has Canada.
The film began its rollout out internationally in September and has many more major markets to go. It had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival, after which the audience erupted into a 10-minute (or more) standing ovation. It was just nominated for the PGA’s Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer and has garnered five BAFTA nominations including Best Leading Actor (for Andrew Garfield) and Best Adapted Screenplay. Gibson directed the film from an adapted screenplay by Robert Schenkkan and Andrew Knight.
The film is based on the true story of Army medic Doss who, in the battle of Okinawa during World War II, saved 75 men without firing or carrying a gun. He was a conscientious objector but fought on the front lines without a weapon, as he believed that while the war was justified, killing was wrong. It was produced by by Bill Mechanic, David Permut, Brian Oliver, William D. Johnson, Bruce Davey, Paul Currie, and Terry Benedict.
“We’re delighted, but not surprised, to see that the film is working everywhere in the world and it’s encouraging to have reached the $100 million overseas benchmark already,” said IM Global founder and CEO Stuart Ford. “With openings in major markets like the UK, Germany, Italy, Brazil and Japan still to follow, it looks as if we are on track for a really outstanding final international gross for an independently financed film.”
Hacksaw Ridge has been so far released across 32 territories. In China, where Bliss Media has grossed $58 million to date, the film even received a rare extension to remain in theaters for an additional 30 days past what was planned.
Market by market, the war film has grossed $3.8M in France (handled by Metropolitan), $6.8M in Australia/New Zealand (Icon), $3.5M in Taiwan (Catchplay), $3.1M in the Middle East (Selim Ramia & Co.), $2.2M in Scandinavia (MisLabel), $2.2M in Spain (DeAPlaneta), $2M in Hong Kong (Bravos), $1.9M in Benelux (Splendid), $1.5M in Poland (Monolith), and $1.1M in CIS (BVI).
The film has already won nine awards from the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts including Best Film, Best Direction and Best Lead Actor.
Mel Gibson Finally Loses His Beard and Cuts a Stranger's Hair Into an Extreme Mullet on Jimmy Kimmel Live!(Video) Mel Gibson is an Oscar-winning actor, director and...hairdresser?
He may not have a beauty license, but that didn't stop the 61-year-old star from taking some scissors to a stranger's head Thursday night on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Fortunately, he did have an ounce experience behind the chair.
"I used to cut my children's hair when they were little. They didn't have a choice in the matter," Gibson recalled. "It wasn't a great job, but it got them through. They're still alive."
Assisted by the show's resident sidekick, Guillermo—who is also not a licensed cosmetologist—the men got to work on New Zealand native William's long and curly mane.
"Get creative Mel! Go nuts with that," Kimmel advised as they cut to commercial.
When the show returned, William had an extreme mullet.
"That groaning from the audience—don't be discouraged by that," Kimmel comforted the stranger. Unfortunately, William had spent three years growing those tresses. "Pretty attached to it," he admitted.
"You can still take it home with you," Kimmel promised.
Once Gibson had buzzed the top and left the bottom long, the host thought it would only be fair if William got to shave the actor's beard. "I've never shaved a man before," William admitted.
Nevertheless, he managed to carve out a handlebar mustache on the star's face. Gibson was actually a fan.
"I like it!" he admitted before shedding the rest of his facial hair for a clean shave.
Moral of the story: don't let Mel Gibson get near your hair.
‘Hacksaw Ridge’ Gets Rare Extended China Release As Local B.O. Crosses $50MMel Gibson’s pacifist WW II drama Hacksaw Ridge has had an incredible run at the Chinese box office since its December debut and has just been granted a rare release extension. The film, which world premiered at the Venice Film Festival this past September and has become a force during awards season, has officially crossed the RMB 350M ($50.8M) mark in the Middle Kingdom. The global reported gross to date is $137M.
Thanks to the positive word of mouth (at release, Chinese online ratings site Douban had it at 8.8 out of 10), and the box office success, Hacksaw has been granted permission by the Middle Kingdom Censorship Bureau to extend its release for another 30 days in select theaters. That’s a rare move in a market that typically limits imports to one month. Previous Hollywood titles to be afforded the extra time include DreamWorks Animation’s The Croods and Disney’s Zootopia.
The successful performance is also partly down to a localized marketing and distribution campaign with a team on the ground in key cities. Bliss Media is handling the film in China.
When Hacksaw opened in the PROC in mid-December, it defied expectations to wrestle with Japanese juggernaut Your Name for the No. 1 spot, ultimately beating it on the Sunday of its launch weekend. It is the biggest imported war film of all time in the Middle Kingdom. Early on, it overtook such titles as Fury, War Horse and Saving Private Ryan.
The story of Desmond T Doss stars Andrew Garfield in the lead role and tells the incredible tale of the real-life conscientious objector who never carried a gun, yet saved dozens of men from the battle of Okinawa. It includes a latter half that’s heavy on action and gore, and will have faced cuts in the Middle Kingdom to tone some of that down. Nevertheless, it’s connecting.
Among its awards season accolades, Hacksaw won the AFI Movie of the Year Award; swept the Australian Film Academy’s prizes last month; has three Golden Globe nominations and two SAG noms.
Lionsgate has domestic on Hacksaw. Principal financiers were Cross Creek, Demarest Films and IM Global who acquired international rights for about half the film’s $40M budget and quickly sold the title around the world.
Capri Hollywood Fest WinnersBEST DRAMA: Hacksaw Ridge
BEST ACTOR: Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge; Michael Keaton, The Founder
BEST DIRECTOR: Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge
BEST PRODUCER: Bill Mechanic, Hacksaw Ridge
BEST EDITOR: John Gilbert, Hacksaw Ridge
Mel Gibson Named Director Of The Year For ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ At Capri Hollywood FestThe Capri Hollywood International Film Festival is honoring Mel Gibson with its Director Of The Year Award, in recognition of his pacifist WWII drama Hacksaw Ridge. Producer Bill Mechanic, who was already named by the festival as its Producer Of The Year, is accepting the prize on Gibson’s behalf. Hacksaw had its world premiere to great acclaim at the Venice Film Festival this past September and has become a force during awards season.
The story of real-life conscientious objector Desmond T Doss (Andrew Garfield), who saved the lives of 75 men during the battle of Okinawa without ever carrying a gun, the movie crossed the $100M mark at the global box office in mid-December. It is also experiencing a very strong run in China where it’s at nearly $50M through this past weekend.
Among its accolades, Hacksaw won the AFI Movie of the Year Award; swept the Australian Film Academy’s prizes this month; has three Golden Globe nominations and two SAG noms.
Mechanic says, “It took me 15 years to make this movie. Mel will be very happy to receive this award. I always thought he was perfect for this movie, but he only accepted the ask on my third request! It was very important to make this movie.”
The son of one of Doss’ fellow veterans of Okinawa recently shared this tribute to the film with Deadline.
The film screens in Capri, which is currently running, and releases in Italy on February 9 via Leone Film Group and Eagles Pictures.
Lionsgate has the film domestically. Principal financiers were Cross Creek, Demarest Films and IM Global. Robert Schenkkan and Andrew Knight wrote the script.
‘Hacksaw Ridge’ Scales $100M+ At Global Box OfficeMel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge has crossed the $100M mark at the worldwide box office. The film, which made its premiere to great acclaim at the Venice Film Festival, is now at $111M+ worldwide. The current split is $50M international, and $61.1M domestic. The WWII drama has performed particularly well in China where it opened last Thursday. Wrestling with local titles, it grossed nearly $20M in its first five days.
The pacifist story of Desmond T Doss started its career in Venice this year and has found its niche with worldwide audiences. Starring Andrew Garfield in the lead role, it tells the incredible tale of conscientious objector Doss who never carried a gun, yet saved dozens of men from the battle of Okinawa.
As of this past weekend, the film, released domestically by Lionsgate, was still one of the Top 10 grossing movies in the U.S. after over a month in release. The other top markets (IM Global financed and handled sales) include Australia ($5.3M), France ($3.5M), Canada ($3.4M), the Middle East ($2.7M), and Taiwan ($2.7M).
Gibson says, “It’s been an incredibly exciting week for Hacksaw Ridge between three Golden Globe nominations and then learning that the film has surpassed the $100 million mark at the worldwide box office. The amazing commercial response and critical recognition the film has achieved is a testament to the talented creative team, our remarkable cast, and our world-class partnerships with producers Bill Mechanic and David Permut, IM Global, Lionsgate, Cross Creek and so many others who helped make this possible.”
For reference, Gibson’s Apocalypto did 57.8% of its $120.6M global business offshore a decade ago while The Passion Of The Christ did 39.4% of its $612M worldwide tally in 2004.
Rollout on Hacksaw is staggered, hoping to benefit from awards season with plays the UK and Germany going later. This week, the film earned three Golden Globe nominations, including Best Motion Picture – Drama; Best Director for Mel Gibson; and Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama for Andrew Garfield. In addition, it has seven Critic Choice nominations from the Broadcast Film Critics; won nine AACTA awards in Oz; and is one of the National Board of Review’s Top 10 Best Films of the Year, as well as one of the 10 films honored this year by the American Film Institute.
Offshore rollout will continue between now and February, including such majors as the UK, Germany and in Latin America.
74th Annual Golden Globe NominationsThe Golden Globes ceremony is set for Sunday, January 8 at 5 PM PT/8 PM ET live on NBC hosted by Jimmy Fallon.
Best Motion Picture – Drama
Best Director – Motion Picture
2016 Critics’ Choice Award WinnersBEST ACTION MOVIE: Hacksaw Ridge
Movie critic will look past Mel Gibson’s controversiesMost movie critics are leaving “Hacksaw Ridge” off their lists of the year’s 10 best films because of Mel Gibson’s history of making sexist and anti-Semitic remarks when in his cups.
But Time Warner’s “Talking Pictures” reviewer Bill McCuddy can look past the past, and has Mel’s movie at No. 5: “I know the Mel Gibson haters will pile on, but I’m about the movie, not the man.”
McCuddy has “Lion” at the top of his list, followed by the Ryan Gosling-Emma Stone musical “La La Land.” McCuddy says, “I wish New Yorkers could break into song during traffic jams. Fifth Avenue would be a lot nicer for the next [four] years.”
AFI Awards: Best Of 2016 Film List Includes ‘Silence’, ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ & MoreThe American Film Institute has unveiled its annual AFI Movies of the Year list, which is heavy on Paramount films including the latest comer to the awards-season race, Martin Scorsese’s Silence. Its campaigners have been ramping up getting Scorsese’s passion pic screened for voters, and it secures a spot here for its director who was a previous recipient of the AFI Live Achievement Award.
Also in the mix in AFI’s list of 10 are Paramount’s Arrival, the cerebral sci-fi pic starring Amy Adams and directed by Denis Villeneuve, and Fences, the Denzel Washington movie based on August Wilson’s Tony-winning play.
The list is rounded out by Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge, his first directing effort in 10 years, and CBS Films’ Western Hell Or High Water, both distributed by Lionsgate. They are in addition to what are turning out to be awards-season staples La La Land, Manchester By The Sea and Moonlight. Clint Eastwood’s Sully and Disney’s animated smash Zootopia also are on the list.
The biggest omissions might be a pair of Focus Features films: Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals and Loving.
In addition to the 20 honorees in film and TV, AFI also recognized O.J.: Made In America with an AFI Special Award. The multi-part documentary is being considered both a film (it’s on the Oscar feature docu shortlist) and a TV series having aired on ESPN.
“Year after year, we are reminded of the power of artists to bring us together as one,” said Bob Gazzale, AFI president and CEO. “AFI Awards is proud to recognize the achievements of the storytelling teams who have enlightened and informed us, guided and inspired us, and ultimately invited us to empathize with others in a reminder of our common humanity.”
This year’s film jury was led by producer and AFI Board of Trustees Vice Chair Tom Pollock.
AFI MOVIES OF THE YEAR
Hollywood Reporter ArticleDirector Roundtable: Mel Gibson, Denzel Washington and 4 More on Paralyzing Fears, Cast and Crew Complaints: Read it here.
Gibson and Hacksaw Ridge dominate Aussie film awardsMel Gibson and his new movie Hacksaw Ridge have swept the board at the Australian film awards in a return from the wilderness for the "choked up" Oscar-winner.
Gibson returned to his Australian roots to direct his first film in a decade, the true story of a conscientious objector who saved 75 men during the Battle of Okinawa in World War II.
It tells of Desmond Doss who enlists and is determined to save lives on the front line as a medic, but refuses to carry a gun on moral grounds.
Since its premiere at the Venice Film Festival, Hacksaw Ridge has generated Oscars buzz and was recognised by the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts with nine gongs at their annual awards ceremony in Sydney late Wednesday.
They included best film and best director for Gibson, while the movie's lead and supporting actors, Andrew Garfield and Hugo Weaving, also won.
"All the way up and down it's a homegrown film," said an emotional Gibson, who shot it in New South Wales state. "I'm really honoured and choked up I can't even talk."
He added: "Filming in Australia was fantastic, it was like the old days."
Gibson's family moved to Sydney from New York when he was 12.
He learned his trade at the National Institute of Dramatic Art in the city before making his name with Mad Max in 1979 and Gallipoli two years later, helping propel him into Hollywood.
Further success came with the Lethal Weapon series before Oscar success with Braveheart.
It made Gibson one of the most sought-after names in Hollywood, before being ostracised by Tinseltown after an anti-Semitic tirade captured on tape during a 2006 drunk-driving arrest.
The actor-director has since had to make do with a handful of parts in obscure or poorly received films.
Among other gongs, Crocodile Dundee star Paul Hogan was given one of the night's highest honours -— the Longford Lyell Award -— for outstanding contribution to the Australian screen.
Previous winners have included Cate Blanchett, Geoffrey Rush, and director Peter Weir.
Critics’ Choice Award NominationsThe awards air Sunday December 11th on A&E.
BEST HAIR & MAKEUP
BEST ACTION MOVIE
BEST ACTOR IN AN ACTION MOVIE
Mel Gibson, Andrew Garfield And Bill Mechanic On The 15-Year Ordeal To Scale ‘Hacksaw Ridge’(deadline.com) When Mel Gibson and Andrew Garfield gather to speak on their WWII film Hacksaw Ridge, each has jetted into LA from Europe, where they are making other movies. Gibson left the set of The Professor and the Madman, a movie he’s starring in with Sean Penn. Garfield was deep into developing the semi-schizophrenic character he was about to start playing in Under the Silver Lake. But it doesn’t take much time for them to snap back into Desmond Doss mode.
The moment they received a sustained standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival, Gibson and Garfield put themselves into the awards season race with Hacksaw Ridge, capping a remarkable 15-year ordeal to bring to the screen the story of the first conscientious objector to win the Medal Of Honor. That medal was pinned on Doss by President Harry Truman, for courage under fire that included pulling 75 wounded men to safety one night during a siege gone horribly wrong in the Battle of Okinawa in the waning days of WWII.
The clock started on the drama when producer David Permut brought Terry Benedict, who had befriended Doss while making a documentary about him, to Bill Mechanic’s Pandemonium offices. Benedict’s documentary took Doss and a few of his surviving platoon-mates back to Maeda Escarpment. It was the site of the bloodiest battle in the Pacific, where the army medic’s heroism stunned soldiers who labeled Doss a coward for his unwillingness to pick up a rifle—or even to fight on Saturday, which fell on the Seventh-day Adventists Sabbath day. Benedict, who had been granted feature rights by Doss and his church, brought to his meeting with Mechanic an appearance by Doss on This is Your Life that left the producer pulling out his checkbook to buy the property.
He figured there would be a short path to the screen. After all, the biggest problem was that Doss’s heroics were so extreme they had to be downplayed in the movie, simply because audiences wouldn’t have believed the full extent. That included the level of cruelty his commanding officer and fellow enlisted men displayed toward Doss as they tried to drum him out of the army on a Section Eight discharge for mental instability. But it most profoundly played out when Doss proved himself the bravest man in Japan on a day when the medic and his men were overrun by the Japanese forces, driven down from the high ridge, leaving dead and wounded soldiers behind by the score. The Japanese had designs on killing and torturing the injured, but Doss had ideas of his own. Using his faith as his guide, he dodged and evaded the enemy, and dragged his own men to a cargo net, lowering them to safe ground below with a long rope.
“At the point where Desmond is injured by a grenade, and they are pulling him out on a stretcher, what actually happened was that some other soldier was wounded, and Desmond rolled off the stretcher,” Mechanic says. “He was just blown up by a grenade, but he treats this other guy, and he is out there for another five hours, sitting there. He gets shot twice, and straps on a rifle butt as a splint. When they don’t come get him, he crawls. There were things that left us thinking, who would believe that?”
Turns out Doss had 17 pieces of shrapnel in his body, and his arm was shattered. The key to the story was the fact that, while Doss might have used part of a rifle as a splint, he held true to his vow to never raise a weapon to kill the enemy.
How could such a heroic WWII tale remain untold on the screen for over 70 years?
It was not for lack of trying. Hal Wallis campaigned for the rights, even bringing Audie Murphy with him to persuade Doss. They were sent packing, because the last thing the humble Doss wanted was to glorify his achievements. It was only in his later years, following the death of his wife, that Doss relented to the call from his church, which felt the time had come for his story to be told.
“He didn’t want to publicize himself, didn’t really want a movie made of his life and it wasn’t until he was in his 80s that his friends convinced him that his story had to live past him,” Mechanic says. “We brought on Robert Schenkkan to write it, sold it to Walden Media, with an eye toward protecting the religious content. Not to dial it up or down, just tell the story as it was.”
Nothing came easy, not even landing Gibson to make his first directing project in a decade. The script by Schenkkan—the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright behind The Kentucky Cycles who wrote four episodes of the WWII miniseries The Pacific—was strong, but Gibson wouldn’t bite. He turned it down, twice. Mechanic, who, while a top Fox exec, acquired the foreign rights on Braveheart that got the Best Picture winner financed, immediately thought of the filmmaker.
“I felt that Desmond was, in a way, like William Wallace, without the sword,” he says. “One was violent and the other non-violent, but they were both men prepared to die for what they believed in. I pitched the film to people as a different form on Braveheart, and sent it to Icon. They said they loved it, but it was a no. I sent it again, same thing.”
Gibson suggests that it took time for the script to rattle around his head, before the visuals changed his mind. But he was carrying the shrapnel of a series of self-inflicted public outbursts, the most serious of which came in the back of a cop car in Malibu, when a drunken Gibson spouted anti-Semitic remarks that left him persona non grata. Mechanic thinks that for whatever reason, Gibson was too preoccupied to take his overtures seriously. “I don’t think he ever really read it closely, because on the third approach, he committed in one day.”
Says Gibson: “I passed on Braveheart. I kind of liked it and thought, maybe…I don’t know. One reason or another. Then it’s like what happened [here]. The wheels start going around and you start visualizing it.”
Braveheart was initially offered to Gibson as an acting role alone. But he was looking to step up after doing the small character piece The Man Without a Face. “I started visualizing it, a lot. I would think about, how cool could this be? You’d have a shot list in your head and visualize what you wanted to see. Two years later, I’d finished a movie and someone said, ‘What do you want to do next?’” Gibson remembered Braveheart. Hacksaw Ridge reverberated the same way. “I looked at it again and I just saw it with new eyes.”
By then, Garfield, fresh off The Amazing Spider-Man, was being eyed for the lead. Even though Gibson isn’t a fan of superhero movies, he’d seen the British actor’s work in films like The Social Network, where he played Mark Zuckerberg’s estranged college pal Eduardo Saverin. The empathy that Garfield exudes more than just about any other actor of his age convinced Gibson, and he was in.
But, although Walden Media sparked to the faith-based heroism, the company set the budget very tight, and ultimately dropped out when the filmmakers could not meet the contractual requirement to make a PG-13 film. “Braveheart was 50 percent more expensive than this movie, and that was 23 years ago,” Mechanic says. “We got the budget down, but I just didn’t think there was a chance in hell this was anything less than R. Mel doesn’t have it in his being to take that script and not show it on screen. That defined who Desmond Doss was. His beliefs aren’t real until he proves it on the battlefield. Anyone could say, ‘I’m not going to pick up a weapon.’ Put yourself in a situation when you’re the only guy out there, and 1000 Japanese soldiers are coming after you, that’s when your beliefs are tested. Without that violence, to me it’s not a story.”
That meant starting from scratch, and piecing together a budget for a $40 million movie only made possible by shooting in Australia with nearly the entire cast down under—Garfield and Vince Vaughn were among the few exceptions, and while Gibson is American, he was born in Australia. It was his first movie back home in 30 years, after starting his career there with films like Gallipoli and Mad Max.
Even though Cross Creek Pictures came in for a piece, the lack of a big visual effects budget required inventiveness with the requisite explosions, with charges that could detonate practically under the noses of actors playing the soldiers. “We just didn’t have any money, and that was the single biggest obstacle,” says Mechanic. “Mic Rodgers, our stunt guy and one of the few guys we brought in from outside Australia, had done all Mel’s pictures and he brought in this technology. He’s up on the battlefield with our head stuntee, who has this camera, and Mic is demonstrating the bomb. It goes off about a foot away from him, and you see dirt, but no Mic. He was gone. The stuntee is like, ‘Holy shit, I just blew up my boss.’ It was the funniest thing, as Mic got up.”
It was this technology that made the action achievable at this budget level. “It was supplemented by digital effects, but all that stuff was real and stunt-driven,” Mechanic notes.
All the financial wizardry still left them short, as they ended with battle scenes. Mechanic says he and Gibson personally covered the costs needed to get the required shots.
Gibson stopped short of playing Doss’s father—a violent drunk who eventually would help his son in his fight against the army to be sent into battle. He said he would have played the part if no one better emerged. But putting Gibson in that role might have been a bit too on the nose, given the circumstances that kept him from behind the camera the last decade, even though he has been sober now for longer than that. He found Hugo Weaving. “The guy killed me,” Gibson says. “I thought he was great. He became the obvious choice to do that part. You get somebody like Hugo, you use that guy. I can’t do what he can do.”
The shoot was arduous. “I don’t know if I was ever frightened, because I had that Desmond energy, inhabiting that character,” Garfield says. “I don’t know if Desmond had the time to be frightened, whether he turned that into physical action or a prayer, but it was thrilling to have the physical things happening around us as actors and extras, and stunt guys were dealing with all these box bombs and explosions, with mud flying. There were times where it got tricky, especially when we were trying to achieve something intimate while mud was landing in the back of your throat.”
Says Gibson: “You’re trying to play a moment, and being hit by that stuff, and it’s just awful. I remember in a film I did years ago, the wind is blowing this filthy sand into my eyes while I’m trying to emote. You watch it back and think, it worked out okay, but you are just having a miserable fucking time trying. You’ve just got to try to relax, because any skill requires that.”
Garfield came to Hacksaw Ridge after completing an equally difficult shoot on the Martin Scorsese-directed Silence. He said that film was harder, partly because the shoot was solitary and he starved himself to look the part of a Jesuit priest. “This was a new thing for me with Mel, and the way he works, and the feeling that he creates on set, and the feeling he creates within the company,” Garfield says. “It feels like you’re a traveling theater company, and that’s Mel’s background as well; drama school in Sydney. I did mine in London and started in theatre and it felt like a company of traveling gypsies. There was a real joy on the set, amidst the trickiest, most harrowing stuff we had to do.”
Garfield says the cast bonded like a battalion might. “You have to laugh to keep from crying, as you imagine what those guys went through. There’s an absurdity you’re witnessing on a daily basis where, if you truly let the reality deeply in, it’s going to destroy you. That is when the psyche cracks and the PTSD sets in.”
He continues: “There was something so spirited and joyful and loving about the Hacksaw experience; not that those things weren’t present on Marty’s movie. But Silence was much more isolating, where on a personal level the primary relationship is between my character and a god that may or may not be there; a silent god. I was isolated, hungry, lonely and celibate for six months. It was absolutely fucking fascinating. But [on Hacksaw], having the brothers, and the wife, and a great leader in Mel, and maybe the odd beer on the weekend, made it ever so slightly easier.”
Many of the visual flourishes that make Gibson’s films singular come in the moment. Garfield recalls an 11 p.m. text from Gibson to say he was planning to change a big scene, in which Doss is doused in water, scheduled for the following day. ”I was anxious because you like to have a framework, and you’ve already laid that out. But you just totally trust it, because he’s operating from this deep guttural instinct, not dissimilar to where Desmond was operating from within his life. Mel is very, very in touch with his primal nature, and that still, small voice inside. He’s a very emotional filmmaker, a very visceral, physical filmmaker.”
Says Gibson of the seminal ‘baptism’ scene: “I just wanted a moment where it was like this kind of transition; this cleansing moment. And it became literally that. He comes off the hill and he’s all covered in blood and mud, and I needed that moment where you just focus in a kind of spiritual or ethereal, lyrical way. It was something I cooked up on the spur of the moment, and we threw it together. You have these moments of clarity that are hard, because they’re not on the schedule and the budget is so tight. But you just go, oh no, I have to fit this in.”
Another scene, in which Doss covers an injured soldier—all except his eyes—in dirt to conceal him from Japanese soldiers, was the same. “You think, that guy’s eye, in the ground, now that would be a cool image. And then you’ve got no choice but to find a way to do it.”
It fell to Mechanic to explain each of these detours to the bond company. But when he ran Fox, Mechanic was also the point person for James Cameron as he mounted Titanic. Coming through Hacksaw Ridge has left him feeling that the market for literate movies is as bad as any time he can remember.
“The business is in a very weird place,” he says. “To me, this is the worst of times. It’s probably the lowest ebb of motion pictures ever, maybe since the late ’60s led to the ’70s films. I keep waiting for the phoenix to rise, or for the whole thing to fucking crumble, and then maybe we can pick back up and get real movies made again. But to me, this is a period of just abject terrible movies. Nobody cares, and there is no alternative. Studios, right now, are manufacturers. Like Detroit. They’re manufacturing cars, looking for this year’s model of the Chevy. Other than a Dark Knight, which breaks the rules, we’re in a business where almost all the quality is being pushed into tiny little pictures, and I’m not interesting in making little pictures. Mel is not a perfect person, but he has improved on each of his pictures, and Andrew is the finest young actor of his generation. I had this experience on Titanic, and on Braveheart, and here, also. When you look in the eye of Jim Cameron, and when you look in the eye of Mel Gibson, it makes you feel, okay, we’re putting all our money on this guy.”
China Sets Theatrical Release Dates For ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ & ‘Allied’Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge has secured a theatrical release in China this year on Thursday December 8, during one of the country’s busiest months for cinema.
It’s a move that would suggest that the country’s normally strict quota on foreign film imports may be expanding as, typically, Chinese government regulations would have prevented changes to the theatrical film calendar this late in the year.
The film, which was sold internationally via IM Global, isn’t the only World War II epic out for release in the Middle Kingdom this year: Robert Zemeckis’ Allied, starring Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard, is set for a November 30 release through China Film Co. Pitt is promoting the Paramount title in Shanghai this week, marking the first time the actor has made a promotional appearance for a film in China in more than 20 years, since the country’s government reportedly didn’t approve of his 1997 film Seven Years in Tibet.
China typically allows the import of only 34 foreign films per year on revenue-sharing terms. But after a mid-year box office slump, regulators seem to be expanding their rules in a bid to counteract the box-office growth.
In December, regulators have normally operated a “blackout period,” preventing new releases of non-Chinese titles in order to optimize the chances of home-grown fare but maximizing box office potential seems to be higher on the agenda this year.
Additional overseas titles released in China in 2016 include Eddie Redmayne starrer Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Disney’s Moana, both set to release on November 25; Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children as well as Japanese animation title Your Name, which are both out on December 2.
Review: Mel Gibson roars back with bruising 'Hacksaw Ridge'Is "Hacksaw Ridge" Mel Gibson's redemption? Is it his atonement, or perhaps his miracle?
Don't worry, we won't be making any such weighty theological pronouncements — though these terms have all been bandied about in the run-up to Gibson's first directorial effort in the 10 years since "Apocalypto." That movie came out in 2006, only a few months after news broke of Gibson's drunken anti-Semitic rant, which has plagued his career ever since.
But "Hacksaw Ridge," the latest contribution to the canon of big World War II films, doesn't need any redemptive backstory. Whatever you think of Gibson, and whatever your position on the relevance of his personal flaws to his art, his filmmaking prowess is evident. This big, bruising, viscerally violent yet also often moving film should be judged on its merits.
"Hacksaw Ridge," starring the goofily appealing Andrew Garfield as the real-life character Desmond Doss, may not be a perfect movie, but it strikes an unusual balance. It's a violent film whose hero — and moral core — espouses non-violence. It's a war film that will also appeal to a faith-based audience. It's a film that at moments can feel relentlessly corny — and a second later, painfully, horribly real.
Doss, a Seventh-day Adventist, was the first conscientious objector to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. An Army medic, he refused to touch a weapon, believing he should be saving lives and not taking them. Though his exploits are a matter of record, we won't spill all the details here.
After an early introduction to Doss as a boy in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, we pick up in young adulthood. When war breaks out with Japan, the young man feels compelled to enlist, despite the objections of his loving but abusive father (an excellent Hugo Weaving), a World War I veteran who was ruined by the experience. Doss is also going against the wishes of his new fiancee, Dorothy (fresh-faced Teresa Palmer), who begs him to stay. (The couple's meet-cute scenes are charming but extremely retro and not a little corny.)
Doss arrives at training camp, eager to serve. But when he won't touch a rifle, his superiors are aghast. "Private Doss does not believe in violence," taunts one sergeant. "Do not look to him to save your life on the battlefield!" He's played by Vince Vaughn, whose approach at first seems too comedic — as if in another movie. But he soon settles into an effectively understated performance.
Doss is pressured to leave the army — subjected to beatings, harassment, ultimately a court-martial — and only survives due to dramatic intervention from on high. And then it's on to Japan, to Okinawa and specifically the brutal battle at Hacksaw Ridge, high up on a punishing cliff where untold horrors await.
It is here that Gibson's hand is the surest. The suddenness which with death arrives in combat, the unfathomable randomness of it all, a man's jaunty bravado crumbling into paralyzing fear — the director sugar-coats nothing. As the men first climb toward their enemy, they pass their fallen comrades. Some corpses are in parts. Some have maggots crawling out of them.
It is during this battle that Doss becomes a hero, finding a way to save countless men by persevering when most others have been forced to retreat. He is guided by his faith; at one point, he asks God out loud what is expected of him. Garfield knows how to make such a scene feel honest — no easy feat.
Many fact-based movies end with some real-life footage. It's always welcome, but here, it's truly exciting to see Doss, alive and speaking (he died in 2006). His is a story you probably didn't know, and will be glad you did. Gibson does well by it.
"Hacksaw Ridge," a Lionsgate release, is rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America "for intense prolonged realistically graphic sequences of war violence including grisly bloody images." Running time: 138 minutes. Three stars out of four.
Mel Gibson is on his comeback tourMel Gibson continues his move out of Hollywood “director’s jail” with his latest comeback film, “Hacksaw Ridge.”
The Hollywood Reporter ran a piece in October declaring “Gibson Is No Longer Persona Non Grata in Hollywood” — and the star showed off his film at the Naval Heritage Center in Washington, DC, on Friday with guests including Medal of Honor recipient retired Col. Jack Jacobs and actor Vince Vaughn.
After the movie, Gibson and Vaughn were spotted together at local Del Frisco’s Grille at a communal table chowing on dishes like “cheesesteak eggrolls."
On Sunday, Gibson was seen in New York at Michael White’s Ristorante Morini with his pregnant girlfriend, Rosalind Ross.
Gibson told Variety Thursday of his 2006 DUI arrest and anti-Semitic rant that sidelined his career: “Ten years have gone by ... I’m feeling good. I’m sober, all of that kind of stuff, and for me it’s a dim thing in the past. But others bring it up, which kind of I find annoying, because I don’t understand why after 10 years it’s any kind of issue.”
He also defiantly said, “It was an unfortunate incident. I was loaded and angry and arrested. I was recorded illegally by an unscrupulous police officer who was never prosecuted for that crime. And then it was made public by him for profit, and by members of — we’ll call it the press. So, not fair. I guess as who I am, I’m not allowed to have a nervous breakdown, ever.”
THR reported Gibson’s being courted by talent agencies.
‘Hacksaw Ridge’ Review: Mel Gibson’s World War II Film Is Remarkable & Inspiring(deadline.com) It has taken decades for Hollywood to get around to making a movie about World War II hero Desmond Doss, but it hasn’t been the industry’s fault. Doss, the first conscientious objector to receive the Medal of Honor for bravery in battle, did not want his story told on the screen and resisted all studio attempts — including those from Darryl F. Zanuck and others — to turn it into a film about his heroic efforts in saving 75 men during the ferocious fight for Hacksaw Ridge. As I say in my video review above, it is no wonder filmmakers came calling because being a conscientious objector and never touching a gun was unheard of for soldiers actively involved in the war. Doss was nearly court-martialed for his refusal to carry or even handle a weapon, but eventually became a medic who turned out to be more brave than just about anyone in his unit — a true uncompromised hero.
Andrew Garfield is simply great portraying Doss, whose story is only now being told because his Seventh-Day Adventist Church made a difference in granting rights several years ago. It is a natural for the long litany of movies about war and courage, and it is especially a natural for the directing talents of Mel Gibson who does his best work here since winning an Oscar for Braveheart in 1996.
It is also entirely appropriate for Gibson, who directed the massive faith-based hit The Passion Of The Christ, because Hacksaw Ridge — with its focus on Doss’ strong religious belief in the power of the Bible, the book that never left his side even in the heat of battle — is tailor-made for that same faith-based audience. But this one should have large appeal beyond that as a film that will inspire all moviegoing audiences everywhere. It is a truly remarkable and moving story about unimaginable courage in the face of impossible odds.
The film’s first half details Doss’ childhood and young adult life in the small town in which he grew up. An early incident in which he accidentally nearly kills his brother changed him forever and shaped his view that taking anyone’s life is something he could never do. But that didn’t stop him from wanting to serve in the war effort just as his brother was doing. Of course, his refusal to touch a gun caused enormous problems and ridicule among his superiors who include his drill sergeant Howell (Vince Vaughn, in an effective change-of-pace role). The film also details his checkered relationship with his alcoholic father (an excellent Hugo Weaving), as well his girlfriend Dorothy (Teresa Palmer) whom he would marry before heading to Hacksaw.
But it is the fierce, exciting and realistic scenes of the pure hell of combat that make this magnificent war film so unflinchingly unforgettable. Without using CGI effects, Gibson puts us right in the center of battle as has rarely been accomplished on screen with the possible exception of that first half of Saving Private Ryan. What the director achieves here is truly astonishing, even if it may be too stomach-churning violent for weaker hearts in the crowd. What makes these sequences so compelling is the emotional hook of Doss and his sheer determination and bravery even without carrying a weapon for his own protection. If it weren’t all 100% true you would have a hard time believing it really happened, but it did, and that is always the mark of a genuine hero.
The supporting cast is excellent, but it is Garfield who again impresses in a performance that will bring tears to even the most stone-faced in the audience. Andrew Knight and Robert Schenkkan’s excellent screenplay adds nice layers to the portrait of a man of principle who put saving lives first instead of taking them. Special mention should also be made for the superb cinematography of Simon Duggan, editing by John Gilbert, and fine score of Rupert Gregson-Williams.
There were several listed producers on the film including Terry Benedict, Brian Oliver, Paul Curry, Bruce Davey, William D. Johnson and Tyler Thompson, but it was Bill Mechanic and David Permut who were most responsible and tenacious in getting this film made — and to get Gibson to make it. It was well worth the wait.
Lionsgate releases it Wednesday in a limited run before going wide Friday.
Mel Gibson Addresses His Anti-Semitic Comments and the Fallout That Ensued: It's "Really Unfair"(Podcast) Ten years have gone by since Mel Gibson was arrested in Malibu for drunk driving and was recorded going on an anti-Semitic rant, and now he's ready to move past all that.
Gibson hasn't directed a movie since 2006's Apocalypto, but this year he returns to the director's chair with highly anticipated Hacksaw Ridge. Starring Andrew Garfield as Desmond Doss, the film tells the true story of the army medic who refuses to kill people in the Battle of Okinawa and becomes the first Conscientious Objector in American history to be awarded the Medal of Honor.
Similar to Birth of a Nation's Nate Parker, Gibson is aware that his work will face an uphill battle given his marred past, but he hopes people move on as he has.
"Ten years have gone by," Gibson tells Variety's podcast Playback. "I'm feeling good. I'm sober, all of that kind of stuff, and for me it's a dim thing in the past. But others bring it up, which kind of I find annoying, because I don't understand why after 10 years it's any kind of issue."
The Academy Award winner insists he isn't racist or anti-Semitic, and doesn't want to have to pay for his alcohol-induced mistakes forever. "Surely if I was really what they say I was, some kind of hater, there'd be evidence of actions somewhere. There never has been. I've never discriminated against anyone or done anything that sort of supports that reputation," he adds.
"And for one episode in the back of a police car on eight double tequilas to sort of dictate all the work, life's work and beliefs and everything else that I have and maintain for my life is really unfair."
When Hacksaw Ridge premiered at the Venice Film Festival it reportedly received a 10-minute standing ovation. Early reviews say the movie flawlessly manages to be incredibly violent while sending a strong message about peace, and dubbed Gibson's work an official "comeback."
While it remains to be seen if this is truly a comeback from a box office point of view or even an Oscars point of view, it's clear Gibson is hoping that his work outshines his dark past.
‘Hacksaw Ridge’ Leads Australian Academy Awards NominationsThe Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts has set its nominations for Oz’s highest honors in both fields. Leading in the film races is Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge. The pacifist World War II action drama scored 13 nods including Best Film, Best Director, and a mention in each of the acting categories. Simon Stone’s The Daughter follows with 10 nominations including Best Film, and Supporting Actor for Sam Neill. Rounding out the Best Film category are Ivan Sen’s Goldstone, Martin Butler and Bentley Dean’s Tanna and Rosemary Myers’ Girl Asleep. Gods Of Egypt also picked up some nods.
AACTA prizes in previous years have gone to some of the more high-profile fare with Gibson’s Mad Max helmer George Miller scooping Best Film and Director for 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road. Russell Crowe’s The Water Diviner and Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook shared the top award the year prior.
Gibson’s Hacksaw marks a return to directing after 10 years and has been heaped with praise since it first bowed at the Venice Film Festival to strong reviews and a 10-minute standing ovation. The story of real-life conscientious objector Desmond T Doss is equal parts faith-based film and horrors-of-war action drama. It tells how Doss (Andrew Garfield) saved 75 men in Okinawa without ever carrying a gun. It was filmed on a relatively low budget in Australia, and, as Pete Hammond noted yesterday, also received a sustained ovation at Monday’s Academy screening in Los Angeles. Gibson will receive the Hollywood Film Awards’ Director Award on November 6 and will also appear at Deadline’s The Contenders event November 5 at the DGA. The film releases internationally beginning November 3 and goes to the States on November 4.
On the television side, ABC miniseries The Beautiful Lie leads nominations with nine and The Kettering Incident for Foxtel Showcase follows with eight including for Elizabeth Debicki (The Night Manager) as lead actress.
Below is the list of AACTA nominees. Prizes will be handed out at two ceremonies in Sydney on December 5 and December 7.
FEATURE FILM NOMINEES
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
BEST LEAD ACTOR
BEST LEAD ACTRESS
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
BEST ORIGINAL MUSIC SCORE
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS OR ANIMATION (combined with television)
BEST HAIR AND MAKE-UP (combined with television)
Mel Gibson Scores Hollywood Film Awards Director HonorMel Gibson, in the heat of the movie awards season with his upcoming World War II tale Hacksaw Ridge, will receive the Hollywood Director Award at the 20th annual Hollywood Film Awards, set for November 6 at the Beverly Hilton. Lionsgate’s Hacksaw Ridge, Gibson’s first directorial effort in 10 years, hits theaters two days before the ceremony.
Gibson won the Best Director Oscar in 1996 for Braveheart and seen critical acclaim for Hacksaw Ridge, the tale of Army medic Desmond Doss, a conscientious objector who served during the Battle of Okinawa and ended up winning the Medal of Honor despite not firing a shot. Andrew Garfield stars along with Vince Vaughn, Teresa Palmer, Sam Worthington and Sam Neill. The pic opened to raves at the Venice Film Festival with a 10-minute standing ovation following its premiere — and it has the reviews to match.
The Hollywood Film Awards already is set to honor key awards-season players including Tom Hanks, Hugh Grant, Nicole Kidman and Tom Ford, with more names coming. James Corden hosts the show and Eddie Murphy will receive the marquee Hollywood Career Achievement Award.
Mel Gibson is expecting his ninth childMel Gibson is readying to become a father of nine.
The 60-year-old and younger girlfriend Rosalind Ross are expecting a baby, his rep confirmed to Page Six on Friday. This will be the couple’s first child together, but the actor-dirctor’s ninth.
Ross, a writer, is due early next year.
Gibson shares seven children with ex-wife Robyn Moore and one daughter with ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva, though their relationship was marred with drama. Current girlfriend Ross has no other children.
Gibson and 20-something Ross were first linked last summer.
Mel Gibson Slams Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice as He Discusses Overblown Movie BudgetsMel Gibson may be back in the spotlight for his new movie Hacksaw Ridge but his comments about Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice are also getting attention.
The 60-year-old actor and director shared his confusion for films with overblown budgets in an interview with Deadline.
"I look at them and scratch my head. I'm really baffled by it. I think there's a lot of waste, but maybe if I did one of those things with the green screens I'd find out different," he said. "It seems to me that you could do it for less… You're spending outrageous amounts of money, $180 million or more, I don’t know how you make it back after the tax man gets you, and after you give half to the exhibitors. What did they spend on Batman v Superman that they’re admitting to?"
The film's budget was around $250 million, and despite its successful run at the box office, it didn't make waves with critics, as echoed by Gibson.
"And it's a piece of sh--. I'm not interested in the stuff. Do you know the difference between real superheroes and comic book superheroes is? Real superheroes didn't wear spandex. So I don’t know. Spandex must cost a lot."
Gibson's own film, Hacksaw Ridge, follows Desmond Doss, a U.S. Army medic, who refuses to use weapons of war while single-handedly rescuing wounded soldiers from behind enemy lines.
The budget for Hacksaw Ridge was $40 million, about $10 million more than his budget for 2006's Apocalypto.
The film received a 10-minute standing ovation at its Venice premiere and has generated Oscar buzz.
Hacksaw Ridge premieres in the U.S. on Nov. 4.
Mel Gibson’s ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ Rivets With 10-Minute Ovation At World Premiere – VeniceAfter wowing critics at early morning press screenings on Sunday, Mel Gibson’s pacifist World War II action drama, Hacksaw Ridge, had its red carpet world premiere out of competition at the Venice Film Festival last night. The film played to a roughly 10-minute standing ovation — long standing-Os are not as common a happenstance on the Lido as they are at some other festivals. At about six minutes into the ovation, Gibson and the actors were asked to go down into the audience. Check out the photos from inside the Sala Grande below (outside, some fans greeted Gibson with their faces painted blue, Braveheart-style).
In attendance alongside Gibson were stars Andrew Garfield, Vince Vaughn, Hugo Weaving, Teresa Palmer and Luke Bracey as well as co-screenwriter Robert Schenkkan.
This is the first film Gibson has directed in a decade and last night at the gala premiere, he and the actors were “overwhelmed” and “very truly speechless,” I’m told by a person close to the gang. A private dinner followed hosted by Hacksaw‘s Italian distributors, Andrea Leone and Eagle Pictures.
There were emotional toasts, notably by producer Bill Mechanic who worked for 13 years to bring the project to life. While at Fox, Mechanic worked with Gibson on Braveheart and called Hacksaw the director’s “greatest film.” One attendee observed, “It was particularly meaningful?.” Also at the event were IM Global CEO Stuart Ford and Brian Oliver of Cross Creek Pictures. Principal financiers were Cross Creek, Demarest Films and IM Global who acquired international rights for about half the film’s $50M budget and essentially sold out in Berlin last year.
Lionsgate releases Hacksaw domestically in the heart of awards season on November 4. Overseas release dates are not yet widely confirmed.
'Real heroes don't wear Spandex': Mel Gibson"Real heroes don't wear Spandex," Mel Gibson told Venice Sunday as he unveiled his new World War II drama "Hacksaw Ridge", starring Andrew Garfield of "Spiderman" fame.
The film tells the true story of Desmond Doss (played by Garfield), who enlists and is determined to save lives on the front line as a medic, but refuses to carry a gun on moral grounds.
The flick's title comes from a battleground in Japan at the top of a towering cliff. US soldiers who climb its sheer face are met with bunkers and corpses, as well as Japanese bullets and flame-throwers.
Doss, despite being a conscientious objector, was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Harry S. Truman for single-handedly saving the lives of over 75 of his comrades during the brutal Battle of Okinawa.
While the first hour of the movie is essentially a love story between Doss and his future wife Dorothy (Teresa Palmer), the rest sees the bible-clutching medic first reviled then gradually accepted by the rest of his squadron.
"The man who refuses to touch a weapon and wants to do something much higher than something as venal as killing in a war is a very high calling," Gibson said, adding that he did believe "just wars" exist.
He said that with the violent but essentially uplifting film he hoped to "pay homage to and honour the warrier".
"It's a sad fact that veterans of wars harm themselves afterwards. In Vietnam so many people were killed in the conflict but afterwards over three times as many took their own lives."
His Academy Award-winning "Braveheart" (1995) was famed for its bloody battle scenes, but here Gibson has taken the blowing off of legs and slicing through of guts to an operatic level.
"The important thing with battle and depicting it on screen is to give the impression of chaos and confusion but to be absolutely clear what you want the audience to see," he said.
- 'Like a good Dad' -
"It's all about screen direction and knowing where the players are, you almost have to approach it as a sporting event. If you then put characters into that situation that you have actually come to care for it takes it up a level."
A bearded Gibson, whose first directoral offering in 10 years is in competition for the Golden Lion, said he had felt like "a traffic cop" director, while Garfield said he was more like a mother.
"Mel's really in the scene with you, he can't help it. He's always there with every single actor in every single moment. He's like a good dad or a good mum, with that kind of wonderful nurturing instinct," he joked.
Garfield, who shot to fame with the movie "The Amazing Spider-Man" (2012) before co-producing and starring in the 2014 thriller "99 Homes", said Doss was much more inspiring than the web-weaving hero, whose Spandex costumes prompted Gibson's jibe.
"The fact that this man, who is built as skinnily as I am, dragged men across the most rugged terrain under gun fire, sniper fire, the possibility of motors and shells, and then lowered them down a 75-foot escarpment... that's like when you hear about mothers who lift trucks off babies," said Garfield.
"He had a knowing in his heart and core that he wasn't supposed to take a man's life, but wanted to serve something greater than himself, and found his personal genius path to do that," he said.
He added: "It's a pretty wild time we're in societally speaking. There's a lot of violent uprising and separation and warring ideologies that are plaguing our beautiful planet right now.
"I think Desmond Doss is a symbol who embodies the idea of live and let live no matter what your value system is. You can't really argue with that, I think we could all learn a thing or two from Desmond."
Mel Gibson 'surviving' in Hollywood as war drama premiers in VeniceMel Gibson called his relationship with Hollywood "survival" as he prepared for the Venice film festival premiere of a war drama that marks his directorial comeback after a turbulent decade in his personal life.
The Oscar winner's troubled years began in 2006, when he was arrested for drunk driving and responded with an anti-Semitic tirade. That led to headlines around the world, tarnished his reputation and set back a remarkable career that had made him one of Hollywood's highest paid actors, directors and producers.
But in Venice the 60-year-old is set to premiere "Hacksaw Ridge", a gripping war epic about a pacifist during World War II that cannot but move.
The film tells the true story of Desmond Doss, an army medic who refused to bear arms but later received the Medal of Honour for saving 75 of his comrades. The movie is screening in the out-of-competition section in Venice.
"It's a man in the worst situation possible, in the midst of hell on earth, and he goes into that struggle armed with nothing than faith and conviction, and he sticks by those things and does something extraordinary ... that inspired me," Gibson told a press conference.
The "Lethal Weapon" actor and maker of action thriller "Apocalypto" said he hoped the movie would result in more attention being paid to veterans returning from conflict.
"When they come back, they need some love, they need some understanding," he said.
The film starts with a love story set in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains and eventually moves to the Battle of Okinawa, where Doss, played by Andrew Garfield, must find his way amongst butchered corpses, scattered limbs and intestines to bring his comrades back to safety.
The 33-year-old actor said Doss was a difficult character to live up to. He was drawn to what the now-deceased Doss embodied, Garfield said, especially during today's times filled with violent uprisings and people defending ideologies.
"Desmond is a wonderful symbol of the idea of living and letting live no matter what your ideology is, no mater what your value system is," he said.
Known for playing Peter Parker in "The Amazing Spider-Man", Garfield said portraying a human hero inspired more than a fictional one and drew parallels between Doss and his own brother, also a doctor.
"He doesn't get to do press conferences, patted on the back, applauded ... he's raising three beautiful kids, he's taking care of his wife, he's serving patients and also staying three hours late after work. This is heroics," Garfield said.
Asked about working with Gibson, Garfield said he was "like a good dad on set or a good mom, with that kind of wonderful nurturing instinct where you feel like you can do no wrong even when you're already doing a lot of wrong".
The festival ends on Sept. 10.
Mel Gibson Arrives in Venice for His Directorial Comeback, Hacksaw RidgeMel Gibson has made his way to Venice.
Gibson was joined by Andrew Garfield, 33, who leads the cast of the World War II drama Hacksaw Ridge. The two were seen laughing and talking at a photocall at the Venice Film Festival on Sunday. Gibson kept it casual in a polo shirt and jeans, and Garfield sported a white button down and tie with black pants.
The 60-year-old actor and director returned from a 10-year directorial hiatus as the film – which is already garnering Oscar buzz – marks his first directorial effort since 2006's Apocalypto.
"Maybe I'm a megalomaniac, I don't know," he told reporters of his latest film. "But I just love telling the story and I love to see the story the way I see it."
Gibson has acted in various films during his directorial hiatus, including The Expendables 3 in 2014 and Machete Kills in 2013. He is also set to star alongside Sean Penn in the upcoming film The Professor and the Madman.
Hacksaw Ridge will hit theaters Nov. 4, 2016.
Mel Gibson Returns to the Director's Chair: All About His Comeback Movie Hacksaw Ridge(Trailer) After a decade-long hiatus, Mel Gibson is back behind the camera.
Hacksaw Ridge marks the 60-year-old actor's first directorial effort since 2006's Apocalypto, and the World War II drama, which debuts at the Venice Film Festival this weekend, is already garnering Oscar buzz.
The film follows the true tale of Virginia farm boy-turned-army medic Desmond Doss, played by Andrew Garfield, who was credited with saving dozens of soldiers during the Battle of Okinawa despite refusing to carry a weapon or kill his enemies.
"He was the first conscientious objector to be given the Medal of Honor," Gibson explained in an interview at the Sydney Film Festival in June. "He never fired a gun. He was criticized by his peers, the army tried everything to kick him out, and he endured that because he wanted to serve as a combat medic in the worst place on earth."
The strongly religious Doss voluntarily enlisted, but faced backlash for his refusal to go against his beliefs. Instead of taking lives during the war, he was intent on saving them.
"Most Medal of Honor winners do something insanely courageous in an instant," Gibson said. "But he did it over and over again over the course of months. He really didn't care about his own life."
The film, shot in Australia last year, is expected to be Gibson's comeback, but the director already has more movies in mind.
"I've been developing one thing for over 10 years, set back in the 15th century of Italy," he said. "It has all the trappings of a Jacobean tragedy, and I want to make it like that, even to the point of soliloquies and stuff."
Gibson has acted in various films during his directorial hiatus, including The Expendables 3 in 2014 and Machete Kills in 2013. He is also set to star alongside Sean Penn in the upcoming film The Professor and the Madman.
Hacksaw Ridge will hit theaters Nov. 4, 2016.
Icon Prods. Acquires Rights To Aussie Hero’s Memoir ‘The Crossroad’Mel Gibson and Bruce Davey’s Icon Productions have acquired the rights to The Crossroad, a best-selling memoir by the first Australian to receive the prestigious Victoria Cross since 1969.
The story follows Mark Donaldson from his youth, when he had already lost his Vietnam veteran father and his mother suddenly disappeared (thought to have been murdered). He enlisted in the Australian Army and worked to achieve his goal of joining Australia’s elite Special Air Service.
While serving in Afghanistan, he would make a split decision that would forever change his life and the life of a wounded Afghan interpreter. Under Taliban fire he took off, sprinting 80 meters to haul the injured man back to the safety of a slow-moving U.S. Humvee that was being smashed by enemy fire from all angles. In the process of saving others, he also saves himself.
Mel Gibson Is 'Doing Great' as He Gears Up for Big Comeback with Hacksaw Ridge at Venice Film FestivalMel Gibson is back in the director's chair.
After a 10-year hiatus from behind the camera, Gibson marks his latest directorial effort with the World War II drama Hacksaw Ridge, which is set to premiere at the Venice Film Festival on Sept. 5.
And as Gibson's professional life continues to ramp back up, a source tells PEOPLE the actor is happy in his personal life as well.
"Mel is doing great," says the source. "He has been taking care of himself."
Gibson, 60, has been romantically linked to 25-year-old Rosalind Ross for about a year, and the two spent time together in Australia while he filmed Hacksaw Ridge.
"Dating Rosalind is keeping him healthy. She is a total catch and Mel has been very well-behaved. She is great for him," says the source. "In the past year, Mel spent a lot of time in Australia and Rosalind has joined him. She has her own life, but also seems to enjoy Mel's."
And despite their age gap, the source says the couple's relationship continues to flourish.
"Although Rosalind is much younger, they are still very much on the same page. She likes to live a more quiet life. They work, travel and spend time at home in Malibu together."
Hacksaw Ridge is based on the story of Desmond Doss, a World War II Aarmy medic who is credited with saving 75 lives during the Battle of Okinawa in 1945 and became the first conscientious objector to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor. Andrew Garfield portrays Doss in the film.
The $40 million picture marks Gibson's return to directing since 2006's Apocalypto. He has acted in various films during the hiatus, including The Expendables 3 in 2014 and Machete Kills in 2013. He is also set to star alongside Sean Penn in the upcoming film The Professor and the Madman.
"Mel still loves acting," adds the source. "He is preparing to film in Europe with Sean Penn. He also enjoyed directing in Australia."
Gibson's latest acting role, as an ex-convict out for revenge in the thriller Blood Father, earned him positive reviews from critics.
The film is "worth checking out just to be reminded how powerful an actor Mel Gibson continues to be even – if the parts aren't coming like they once were," wrote Entertainment Weekly.
But when he's not working, Gibson's focus is on his 6-year-old daughter, Lucia, whom he shares with his ex Oksana Grigorieva.
"Mel is a great dad to her," says the source. "When Mel directed on location in Australia, Lucia spent a lot of time there. She is sweet, very social and seems very happy to spend time with Mel. Lucia had a nanny with her in Australia and visited Mel on the set. When Mel was off, they did normal kids' stuff like pick up ice cream."
After an extended custody battle with Grigorieva, the California Court of Appeals recently ruled that Gibson would not have to pay $500,000 worth of settlement money after the Russian singer broke the terms of their agreement.
"Mel and Oksana are not getting along," says the source. "It's a constant fight about the custody arrangement and money."
Mel Gibson -- Selling Oksana's $2.575 Million Crash Pad(Pics) Mel Gibson's former girlfriend, Oksana Grigorieva, made good on their new custody settlement and moved out of his Sherman Oaks rental, and now he's dumping it.
Mel's selling the 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath pad for $2.575 million. The 3,468 square foot home hit the market Thursday. It's a Frank Lloyd Wright knock-off -- modern architecture with a bunch of stone features and stained glass. No pool though.
As we previously reported ... Mel agreed to give Oksana just under $30k in child support each month for their 6-year-old daughter, Lucia, IF Oksana agreed to move out of the rental.
Mel bought the home in 2009 for $2.4 million.
Mel Gibson -- I'm Paying Oksana More, to Get Outta DodgeMel Gibson just agreed to pay baby mama Oksana Grigorieva 50% more than she was getting last month, but the trade-off is that she has to skedaddle from his home.
We've learned Mel and Oksana have been squabbling over child support for 6-year-old Lucia. Oksana was pulling in $20k a month but wanted a small increase -- to $100k a month!
We're told they went back and forth and struck a deal. Mel is now paying Oksana a skosh under $30k a month. But in return Oksana agreed to vacate Mel's $2.4 million rental home in Sherman Oaks. We're told she's rented a pad in Malibu.
It's pretty amazing. TMZ broke the story, Mel was willing to pay Oksana $15 MILLION to settle their child support and alleged domestic violence cases -- provided she keeps those incendiary, racist tapes secret. After signing the agreement, Oksana disavowed it and went for more.
She ended up with a $250,00 settlement.
And file this under glass half full ... Oksana had 50 lawyers in her epic battle with Mel, so her latest -- Brian Kramer -- settled and got her a 50% increase, which is better than the scores of lawyers did before him.
Mel Gibson -- Baby Mama Oksana Grigorieva ... Loose Lips Cost Her a BundleMel Gibson's baby mama, Oksana Grigorieva?, just got word from a California appeals court ... she made one of the worst business decisions in the history of business ... because they just ruled she's only entitled to 1/60 of what she could have gotten from him had she just shut her trap.
The California Court of Appeals just dropped the hammer, saying Oksana screwed herself when she went on Howard Stern in 2013 and claimed domestic abuse at the hands of Gibson. The actor was on the hook for $750,000 -- a settlement he had struck with her -- but had only shelled out $250,000.
The agreement said she would forfeit the balance if she blabbed about her allegations, and the court said that's exactly what she did when she went on Stern. So, Mel does not have to pay the $500k balance.
Mind you ... Mel had agreed to pay Oksana $15 million if she kept those horrible audiotapes secret, but she changed her mind thinking she could get even more and disavowed the deal. Instead of $15 mil, she eventually struck a deal for $750k ... and that has now been whittled down to $250k.
Maybe she's just bad at math.
Mel Gibson, Sean Penn to Star in 'Professor and the Madman'(hollywoodreporter.com) After nearly two decades, Mel Gibson is ready to bring the best-seller The Professor and the Madman to the big screen and has enlisted Sean Penn in the effort.
Gibson, who acquired the film rights to the Simon Winchester book back in 1998, is poised to star opposite Penn, who is in negotiations, in the true story of the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary — a tale that delves into madness, genius and two obsessive men who changed the course of literary history.
Though Gibson had long developed Professor and the Madman as a directing vehicle, he has handed the reins to his Apocalypto writer Farhad Safinia, who is set to direct the film. Gibson will play Professor James Murray, who in 1857 set about compiling the OED, one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken. Penn will play Dr. W. C. Minor, who submitted more than 10,000 entries but was also an inmate at an asylum for the criminally insane. Safinia wrote the screenplay, while Todd Komarnicki and John Boorman penned an earlier draft.
The film brings together two heavyweights, Gibson and two-time Academy Award best actor winner Penn, who have never worked together despite coming of age in Hollywood around the same time. Gibson made his film debut in 1979's Mad Max, while Penn appeared on the scene two years later in 1981's Taps. Both men also frequently direct, and Gibson has two Oscars to his credit for directing and producing Braveheart.
Voltage Pictures, the company behind The Hurt Locker, is selling the film in international territories and will be introducing it to buyers at the upcoming Toronto Film Festival. Gibson's Icon Pictures is producing.
Icon's Bruce Davey is producing.
The filmmakers are eyeing an September start date in Europe.
Gibson directed the upcoming Hacksaw Ridge, which Lionsgate releases Nov. 4. As an actor, his most recent credits include The Expendables 3 and The Beaver as well as the upcoming Blood Father for Lionsgate Premiere. He is managed by Rick Nicita.
Penn directed the Charlize Theron-Javier Bardem starrer The Last Face, which debuted at the Cannes Film Festival in May. He is attached to direct and star in Flag Day, which centers on a father who lives a double life as a counterfeiter, bank robber and con man in order to provide for his daughter. He is handled by CAA and Hirsch Wallerstein.
In addtition to writing Apocalypto, Safinia created the American political drama series Boss, which starred Kelsey Grammer and ran for two season on Starz. He is represented by WME and manager Brian Sher.
‘Hacksaw Ridge’ Trailer: First Look At Venice-Bound Mel Gibson Pic(Trailer) Lionsgate just dropped the trailer for the World War II feature Hacksaw Ridge, directed by Mel Gibson and scripted by Robert Schenkkan and Gibson’s Braveheart screenwriter Randall Wallace. The film, which this morning secured a slot in the Venice Film Festival official lineup, is based on the true story of Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield) who, in Okinawa during the bloodiest battle of WWII, saved 75 men without firing or carrying a gun. He was the only American soldier in WWII to fight on the front lines without a weapon, as he believed that while the war was justified, killing was nevertheless wrong. As an U.S. Army medic, he single-handedly evacuated the wounded from behind enemy lines, braved fire while tending to soldiers, and was wounded by a grenade and hit by snipers. Doss also has the distinction of being the first conscientious objector awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Bill Mechanic, Brian Oliver, David Permut, Terry Benedict, Paul Currie, Bruce Davey, William D. Johnson and Tyler Thompson produced the film through Cross Creek Pictures, Demarest Media, Pandemonium, Permut Presentations and Gibson’s Icon Productions.
The pic opens in an awards-season slot November 4
‘Blood Father’ Trailer: Mel Gibson Is An Ex-Con Protecting Daughter From Bad Guys(Trailer, Poster) “You see — my boyfriend, he got shot. There are a lot of people looking for me.” Not words you want to hear from your daughter, estranged or not. But Mel Gibson is a hardened ex-con who’s not just going to sit back and say: “Sorry, honey. It’ll be all right.” No, he not. And no, it won’t. Much gunplay ensues.
Here’s the first trailer for Blood Father, director Jean-François Richet’s action thriller that tests a dad’s love for the little girl he “just met for the first time in years.” Turns out the bad guys worked for his daughter’s (Erin Moriarty) boyfriend, and that she killed him. Driven by a father’s love — and no small amount of guilt (“You were raised by three stepfathers; shoulda been me”) — Gibson’s bearded John Link must use his connections from his past life and the skills he honed in his criminal days to keep them both alive. Diego Luna, Michael Parks and William H. Macy co-star in the film written by Peter Craig and Andrea Berloff, based on Craig’s 2006 novel.
Lionsgate Premiere in theaters August 12.
'Braveheart' screenwriter working on 'The Passion' sequel"Braveheart" screenwriter Randall Wallace says he's working with Mel Gibson on a follow-up to "The Passion of the Christ."
Wallace told The Hollywood Reporter on Thursday that the new film will focus on the resurrection of Jesus.
Gibson's spokesman declined to comment on the actor-director's involvement in the project.
"The Passion" was directed by Gibson and released in 2004. The film starred Jim Caviezel as Jesus and earned $612 million at the worldwide box office.
Wallace recently worked with Gibson on the World War II drama "Hacksaw Ridge."
Mel Gibson in Legal Fight Over Alleged Blocked Access to Public Beach Near His Home in Costa RicaActor Mel Gibson is in a dispute over allegations that he is preventing access to a public beach near his $29.75 million estate in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, it has been reported.
According to The Tico Times Gibson is being accused of illegally limiting access to a public beach and public land that surround his property, Playa Barrigona – however, a representative of the property has said there's been no wrongdoing.
All beaches in Costa Rica are considered public property and it was reported that administrators of Gibson's property had built a gate that was blocking the public from entering the beach.
However, when camera crews from Channel 7 arrived at the scene, there was no gate. Channel 7 also pointed out that there is already a public road that goes through Gibson's estate, allowing for plenty of public access.
Gibson bought the 500-acre multi-residence jungle compound in 2007 and has since put the property on the market a number of times.
A representative for Gibson’s estate, Robert Davey of Plantación Properties, has told The Tico Times that he's been "puzzled" by the accusations and maintains that there is public access to the beach.
Mel Gibson WWII Movie ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ Jumps Into November Awards SeasonMel Gibson’s next directorial, Hacksaw Ridge from Lionsgate, will open on Nov. 4. Deadline hears that the film tested through the roof and the best place for this title which has equal parts drama, action and faith-based nuances is right in the heart of the awards fall season. Ali Jaafar originally broke the news about Gibson’s movie back in November 2014. Hacksaw Ridge stars Andrew Garfield as Desmond T. Doss, who was the first conscientious objector in U.S. history to win the Congressional Medal of Honor. Doss was a U.S. Army medic who served in World War II during the Battle of Okinawa and refused to kill. President Truman awarded him the Medal of Honor for saving so many lives. The pic produced by Bill Mechanic, David Permut, Brian Oliver, Tyler Thompson, Bruce Davey, William D. Johnson and Paul Currie stars also stars Sam Worthington, Luke Bracey, Teresa Palmer, Hugo Weaving, Rachel Griffiths, Vince Vaughn. The film was co-financed by Cross Creek and Demarest Films.
In addition, the Summit Entertainment movie The Shack is moving from its Nov. 18, 2016 date to March 3, 2017. The Sam Worthington drama about a grieving man who receives a mysterious, personal invitation to meet with God at a place called “The Shack,” also tested well and given its strong faith based elements, fits well during the Lenten season. In fact, March 3 is two days after Ash Wednesday next year.
Both titles will be released wide. Hacksaw Ridge will vie for older adults on Nov. 4 against fanboy destination Doctor Strange from Disney/Marvel, kid pic Trolls from 20th Century Fox/DreamWorks Animation, and Warner Bros.’ Ed Helms-Owen Wilson comedy Bastards.
On March 3, The Shack will vs. Fox’s untitled Wolverine movie.
Jodie Foster Passionately Defends Mel Gibson Like It's 2006 All Over AgainJodie Foster is defending Mel Gibson again, even though he hasn't made controversial headlines.
In a new interview with the New York Times, Foster opens up about her passion for directing and the stars she has worked with before and currently. Set to release Money Monster, the story of a campy financial TV host who gets taken hostage while on air, Foster defends her friendship with Gibson upon hearing the kind words he has to say about her and her incredible talent as an actress and director.
"The way she directs films, the way she does anything—it's just very smart. She attacks it and deals with it and delivers," Gibson tells the NYT. "I just love her, that's all. You meet people like that sometimes. You just instantly fall in love, and that's it, and it's the purest kind of thing. We call each other up all the time and just say, 'Hey, I love you.'"
The two became BFFs after filming Mavericks together more than 20 years ago. Even though some might be confused by how close they've remained over the years given his anti-Semitic rants and the abusive diatribe against his ex that have landed him in boiling hot water, Foster has always stayed true to her pal.
"It's not my job to adjudicate his behavior," she tells the Times. "He's certainly not sexist and certainly not racist. I know the guy I know, somebody who's really emotional, who I can have long, long conversations with, who's trustworthy, who shows up for me."
This is hardly the first time the Panic Room star has defended her longtime friend. When she and Gibson worked on The Beaver together in 2011, she slammed the rumors that it was simply a comeback project for the fallen star.
"He's not a perfect person," she said at the time. "He's a complicated person. That's why I love him. He's not just some guy who wants to pose for GQ. He's lived a real life. I'm forever grateful for this performance, and I can't imagine anyone else bringing this much to it."
Soon after Gibson was arrested in the summer of 2006 for drunken driving—and ultimately went on an anti-Semitic tirade—Foster defended him to USA Today. "Is he an anti-Semite? Absolutely not," Foster told the newspaper. "But it's no secret that he has always fought a terrible battle with alcoholism."
She had witnessed him fall off the wagon before the 2006 scandal, but he had recovered, which is why she felt he could again. "[Gibson] was a shining example of how low you can go when you are young and still pull yourself up," she said. "He took his recovery very seriously, which is why I know he is strong enough to get through this now."
Mel Gibson To Direct & Recur, Kurt Russell & Kate Hudson To Star In ‘The Barbary Coast’ Series For Mark Gordon Co.The Mark Gordon Company has put together big TV series package The Barbary Coast. The series will be directed and co-written by Mel Gibson, with Kurt Russell and Kate Hudson set to star. Gibson also will have a recurring role on the series. The project is inspired by Gangs of New York author Herbert Asbury’s book The Barbary Coast, about the birth of San Francisco.
Russell will executive produce with actor siblings Kate and Oliver Hudson, whom he raised with their mother Goldie Hawn, as well as Gibson, Bruce Davey,Wyatt Russell and Rick Nicita. Entertainment One, which is backing The Mark Gordon Co., will handle international distribution.
The Barbary Coast begins with The Gold Rush in 1849 which saw the biggest influx of gold-seekers, gamblers, thieves, harlots, politicians and other felonious parasites to the infant city. Thus arose a unique criminal district that for almost seventy years was the scene of more viciousness and depravity – yet at the same time possessed more glamour and intrigue – than any other area of vice and iniquity on the American continent.
“Most people don’t know the scandalous history behind San Francisco, and The Barbary Coast offers a rich portrayal of a period when success was often attained through illicit and brutal means,” said Mark Gordon. “I’m excited that Kurt and Kate are working together alongside Mel, whose astute direction will bring this devious time in our history to life.”
Hudson and Russell are reuniting onscreen after co-starring together in the upcoming oil rig disaster movie Deepwater Horizon. Gibson most recently directed Hacksaw Ridge, which is being released by Lionsgate.
Gibson and Russell are managed by Rick Nicita for RPMedia. Hudson is co-managed by Nicita for RPMedia and by Untitled Entertainment. Russell and Hudson are also repped by CAA.
Mel Gibson: Baby Mama Gunning for Epic PaydayMel Gibson clearly loves his little daughter, but he's gotta be regretting hooking up with the kid's mom, who's going back to court for a bloody fortune.
Sources familiar with the case tell TMZ, Oksana Grigorieva is asking the family law judge to increase her child support from $20k a month to well over $100,000 a month.
Our sources say Oksana wants significantly more than $10k a month just for security, even though we're told she can't point to any security risk involving 6-year-old Lucia.
The case is about to go to trial, with Oksana claiming she needs to support a lifestyle of vacations, travel, lodging and other items that make Mel look like mobile home material.
TMZ broke the story, Oksana got $20k a month and a house from Mel after a brutal legal fight.
Mel Gibson: Hits the Town with Hot Young Girlfriend(Pic) Mel Gibson hit the town after the Golden Globes with his 24-year-old, extremely good-looking girlfriend.
Mel and Rosalind Ross hit up the CAA after-party on the Sunset Strip after the big show.
It's the first high-profile event where the 2 locked hands and breezed around the room.
Rosalind's a world champion equestrian vaulter but left her horses for a screenwriting career.
Mel Gibson’s ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ Gets Funding Infusion From Demarest Media & Kilburn MediaCross Creek Pictures has found funding partners for the Mel Gibson-directed Hacksaw Ridge, which is currently shooting in Sydney. Cross Creek has partnered with Demarest Media to produce and finance the film with funding partner Kilburn Media. Andrew Garfield stars with Sam Worthington, Hugo Weaving, Vince Vaughn, Luke Bracey and Teresa Palmer.
Garfield plays World War II American Army medic Desmond T. Doss, the first conscientious objector in U.S. history to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. He won it for his service during the Battle of Okinawa. Lionsgate/Summit will release domestically and offshore rights were sold by IM Global.
Demarest founder and CEO William D. Johnson joins the producer roster of Hacksaw Ridge along with executive producer David Greathouse, who is overseeing production on-set in Sydney alongside Cross Creek’s Jason Seagraves. Kilburn’s Mark Manuel will be exec producer with Wind Hill Pictures’ Buddy Patrick. Cross Creek’s Brian Oliver and Tyler Thompson are the main producers with David Permut.
“Demarest Media has evolved over the last few years with the realization that we want to tell stories in our films that are inspiring, emotionally riveting, and in the best case based on a true event that furthers our understanding of the human condition,” said Johnson. “I am exhilarated to be in the fortunate position to witness what Mel will accomplish with this first-rate cast.”
Said Manuel: “Since reading this script we knew Kilburn had to be a part of the project. It is an incredible story that is now backed by an equally incredible team.”
“This story is done justice by the amazing cast and crew involved with the project,” Oliver said. “We are excited to share the film with such a wide, global audience.”
No Evidence Mel Gibson Attacked a Female Photographer in Australia, Police SayThere will be no action taken against Mel Gibson following an investigation by police over claims he attacked a female photographer, PEOPLE can confirm.
"Police have completed a thorough investigation of allegations made by a Sydney photographer and have concluded there is no evidence to substantiate any charge against my client Mel Gibson," the actor's attorney Christopher Murphy tells PEOPLE in a statement.
The photographer from Australia's The Daily Telegraph named Kristi Miller had claimed that Gibson attacked her as she was taking pictures of him in Sydney, on Aug. 24.
Miller claimed Gibson shoved her from behind after she had taken a picture of him and his girlfriend Rosalind Ross.
Gibson's attorney added in the statement that his client had "totally denied from the onset that these disgraceful allegations were true. He is now satisfied that the police, after speaking to witnesses and reviewing CCTV footage and other evidence, have found there is no substance to the claim. The story is a complete fabrication of the truth as stated previously."
Last month, Gibson's spokesman also denied Miller's claims.
"Mr. Gibson and his friend were being harassed by this photographer and he asked her repeatedly to stop, which she did not," the actor's rep, Alan Nierob, said in a statement to PEOPLE. "There was never any physical contact whatsoever and the story being told by her is a complete fabrication of the truth."
Luke Bracey Lands Lead In Mel Gibson’s ‘Hacksaw Ridge’Luke Bracey has been set to star opposite Andrew Garfield, Vince Vaughn and Sam Worthington in the Mel Gibson-directed Hacksaw Ridge. Pic tells the story of Desmond Doss, the first Conscientious Objector in American history to be awarded the Medal Of Honor for bravery in World War II. Bracey is on his way to being hot stuff, as he plays Johnny Utah (the role Keanu Reeves played) in the Warner Bros/Alcon remake of Point Break.
Hacksaw Ridge shoots in Australia. Bracey plays Smitty, the hard-nosed alpha dog of Doss’ platoon. While Smitty and Doss at first seem to be complete opposites, the realities of war prove they share more than they initially thought. Garfield plays Doss and the story unfolds during WWII and follows the soldiers of the 307th Infantry, 77th Army Division, 1st Battalion, Company B as they train for battle. The story begins at a base camp in South Carolina and follows the recruits as they learn basic wartime survival skills before being deployed to Japan where they come face to face with the action at the Battle of Okinawa.
IM Global’s Stuart Ford has been selling. The film is produced by Bill Mechanic and David Permut, with Terry Benedict and Steve Longi the co-producers. Robert Schenkkan and Randall Wallace wrote the script.
Bracey is coming off The Best Of Me, opposite Michelle Monaghan and James Marsden, and November Man opposite Pierce Brosnan. He is repped by CAA, ROAR, Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal and Mark Morrissey in Australia.
Mel Gibson -- Claims Australian Pap Attack Never HappenedMel Gibson is calling BS on a female photographer in Australia who claims he shoved her and went on an obscenity-laden tirade during a heated exchange when the pap tried to take his picture.
Kristi Miller, a photog for the Daily Telegraph, claims she was taking a photo of Mel and his girlfriend. The photog says, "I turned around he shoved my back really hard ... It shocked me because I wasn’t expecting it. I don't know if it was his hands or elbow."
Miller also claimed Gibson "was spitting in my face as he was yelling at me, calling me a dog, saying I’m not even a human being and I will go to hell."
But Gibson's rep says Miller is lying, saying, "Basically Mr. Gibson and his friend were being harassed by this photographer and he asked her repeatedly to stop, which she did not. There was never any physical contact whatsoever and the story being told by her is a complete fabrication of the truth."
Police in Surry Hills (a suburb of Sydney) say they're investigating.
Vince Vaughn To Star In Mel Gibson-Directed ‘Hacksaw Ridge’Vince Vaughn will move from the HBO series True Detective to Hacksaw Ridge, the fact-based movie that Mel Gibson is directing about Desmond Doss, the first Conscientious Objector in American history to be awarded the Medal of Honor. Vaughn joins Andrew Garfield and Sam Worthington in a film that will shoot in Australia.
Garfield plays Doss and the story unfolds during WWII and follows the soldiers of the 307th Infantry, 77th Army Division, 1st Battalion, Company B as they train for battle. The story begins at a base camp in South Carolina and follows the recruits as they learn basic wartime survival skills before being deployed to Japan where they come face to face with the action at the Battle of Okinawa. Vaughn will play Sgt. Howell, a non-commissioned officer from Alabama whose job is to make sure the soldiers are ready for battle. Although he tries to instill fear in his soldiers by pushing them to their limits both physically and mentally, it is clear that he really cares about them and will do whatever it takes to keep them alive. Having a member who refuses to shoot and kill the enemy contradicts everything the sergeant has learned about war.
Deadline revealed last November that Gibson would return to directing on the project, which IM Global’s Stuart Ford has been selling. The film is produced by Bill Mechanic and David Permut, with Terry Benedict and Steve Longi the co-producers. Robert Schenkkan and Randall Wallace wrote the script.
The role keeps Vaughn on the drama track he has traveled lately with the second season of Nic Pizzolatto’s second season of the cop anthology series True Detective. Vaughn is repped by WME.
Mel Gibson, Oksana Grigorieva in New Court Battle Over LuciaMel Gibson and baby mama Oksana Grigorieva are about to square off in court this morning ... and it's all about their 5-year-old daughter Lucia.
TMZ has learned, Mel is about to go to Australia to do a movie and wants to take his daughter with him for the summer. We're told Oksana objects, so they'll be making their respective cases before the family law judge.
Our sources say the contention between Mel and Oksana on issues of child-rearing has not subsided ... there are many conflicts.
And this is interesting ... we've learned Mel is extremely involved in Lucia's life. In fact, the judge has continually increased his custody of Lucia over the years, to the point where he now has physical custody of his daughter slightly more than 50% of the time.
Update 11:30 PST: We've learned Mel walked out of court partially victorious. The judge is allowing Mel to take Lucia to Australia for 1 month and keep her in L.A. an additional 2 weeks before he leaves the country.
We're also told there was a dispute over which kindergarten school Lucia would attend and the judge sided with Mel.
On the bigger issue of ongoing contention, we're told Mel and Oksana both told the judge they're working on being able to better co-parent.
Mel Gibson Makes Surprise Appearance at 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Premiere(Pic1, Pic2, Pic3, Pic4) Mel Gibson and Tom Hardy at Thursday night’s premiere of ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’
Mel Gibson made an unannounced stop at the Mad Max: Fury Road premiere in Hollywood on Thursday.
The 59 year-old actor-director, who portrayed the original Max Rockatansky in the 1979 dystopian action film, posed for photos on the red carpet with the new Mad Max Tom Hardy.
Both versions were directed by filmmaker George Miller.
Warner Bros.’ Mad Max: Fury Road is on track for an opening weekend of $40 million-plus.
Co-starring Charlize Theron, Fury Road opens nationwide May 15.
Mel Gibson -- I'd Be Harrison Ford's Wingman Any Day(Video) Mel Gibson thinks Harrison Ford is supremely airworthy, despite a crash here and there.
Mel was leaving the grocery store Saturday in Malibu when we asked if he had enough confidence in Ford to soar with him. Mel didn't bat an eye, showing full confidence in the 72-year-old pilot.
The 2 guys have history ... both were in "Expendables 3" and they've known each other for decades.
Mel Gibson in Malibu Car Crash -- Mel Says Victim's Out for BloodMel Gibson plowed into a parked car in Malibu right after XMAS ... and he says the victim is now hounding him for thousands of dollars she doesn't deserve simply because he's a rich celebrity.
Our Malibu sources say Mel was driving somewhere near his home in the evening when he hit the parked car. We're told the damage was severe enough that he had to call someone to come over and extricate him from the vehicle. Once out, Mel left a note on the 13-year-old car with his contact info -- including his phone number -- and left.
We're told Mel's insurance company cut a check for the repairs, a rental car and other expenses and sent it to the other driver, but she started calling and texting him that she wanted more. Our Mel sources say she demanded more cash and a new car.
We're told the woman began contacting Mel incessantly, trying to squeeze him and he finally threatened to sic his lawyers on her for harassing him. On her part, the woman has threatened to sue him.
The matter has not been resolved.
You'll recall, Mel was arrested for DUI back in 2006. As for this incident, we asked his people if alcohol was involved. They said, "absolutely not."
IM Global Closes Slew Of Sales On Mel Gibson-Directed 'Hacksaw Ridge'Stuart Ford’s sales and finance powerhouse IM Global has closed a slew of deals on the Andrew Garfield-starring and Mel Gibson-directed Hacksaw Ridge, confirming it’s pre-market status as one of the hottest titles at this year’s EFM.
Universum has bought the project from Germany, Andrea Leone for Italy, Dea Planeta for Spain, Mis Label for Scandinavia, Pancinema for Korea, Sun Distribution for Latin America, Entertainment in Motion for Airlines, M-NET for South Africa, Cinema 21 for Indonesia, Impuls for Switzerland, Freeman Entertainment for Poland, Spentzos for Greece, Pinema for Turkey, Applause for Taiwan, AQS for Czech/Slovak, Bravos for Hong Kong, Freeman Entertainment for selected East European territories, Apsara for Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Asia pay TV, United King for Israel.
The epic film tells the true story of Desmond T Doss, the first conscientious objector in U.S. history to win the Congressional Medal of Honor. The project is being led by producer Bill Mechanic (Coraline) through his Pandemonium banner, with David Permut (Face Off), Terry Benedict (The Death Of Reasonable Doubt), Steve Longi (Youth In Revolt) and Gregory Crosby on board as producers.
Deadline first reported the news that Mel Gibson and Andrew Garfield had boarded the project.
IM Global Boards Mel Gibson's 'Hacksaw Ridge' Starring Andrew GarfieldStuart Ford’s IM Global will handle sales on Mel Gibson’s directorial effort Hacksaw Ridge. Deadline first broke news of Gibson’s return behind the camera in November. As Deadline also first reported, Andrew Garfield will take on the lead role in the true story of Desmond T Doss, the first conscientious objector in U.S. history to win the Congressional Medal of Honor.
The project is being led by producer Bill Mechanic (Coraline) through his Pandemonium banner, with David Permut (Face Off), Terry Benedict (The Death Of Reasonable Doubt), Steve Longi (Youth In Revolt) and Gregory Crosby on board as producers.
2015 Razzie Nominations2015 Golden Raspberry Awards will be handed out on Feb. 21.
WORST SUPPORTING ACTOR
• Mel Gibson, Expendables 3
• Kelsey Grammer, Expendables 3, Legends of Oz, Think Like a Man Too, Transformers: Age of Extinction
• Shaquille O'Neal, Blended
• Arnold Schwarzenegger, Expendables 3
• Kiefer Sutherland, Pompeii
SightingMel Gibson and model Emily Ratajkowski at Nobu Malibu at a party for Ryan Kavanaugh’s Haute Living cover.
Mel Gibson's 'Blood Father' Being Acquired For U.S. By LionsgateLionsgate is near a deal to acquire U.S. distribution rights to Blood Father, the action thriller that stars Mel Gibson. Pic is directed by Mesrine helmer Jean-Francois Richet, from a script by The Town‘s Peter Craig. Gibson plays an ex-con who reunites with his estranged, wayward 16-year old daughter, and vows to protect her from the drug dealers who are trying to kill her. The picture is produced by Why Not Productions. Elisabeth Rohm, William H. Macy and Diego Luna also star in the gritty thriller that was shot in New Mexico. Most world territories were brokered at the last Cannes.
Gibson next gets back behind the camera to direct Hacksaw Ridge, with Andrew Garfield playing Desmond T Doss, the first conscientious objector in U.S. history to win the Congressional Medal of Honor. Doss was a U.S. Army medic who served in World War II during the Battle of Okinawa and refused to kill. President Truman awarded him the Medal of Honor for saving so many lives.
The Blood Father deal is close to being finalized, I’m told.
After a long stay in the dog house for saying some hateful thing in the past that were made public, maybe Gibson is getting another chance. He certainly has the talent, as evidenced by films including Braveheart, Passion Of The Christ and Apocalypto.
Mel Gibson In Talks To Direct 'Hacksaw Ridge' With Andrew Garfield Starring In War Hero PicMel Gibson is in talks to take on directing duties on Hacksaw Ridge, based on the true story of Desmond T Doss, the first conscientious objector in U.S. history to win the Congressional Medal of Honor. Andrew Garfield is also in discussions to play the lead role.
Doss was a U.S. Army medic who served in World War II during the Battle of Okinawa and refused to kill. President Truman awarded him the Medal of Honor for saving so many lives.
This is not a done deal yet, and Deadline understands that talks are moving forward delicately and slowly. If Gibson does step back into the director’s chair, the subject matter would seem to suit his tastes to a tee. Throughout his career in front of and behind the camera, Gibson has shown an abiding fascination with protagonists prepared to suffer for their principles but ultimately prevailing over hardship.
Hacksaw Ridge, if it happens, would seem to offer a return to the type of emotional terrain Gibson explored to such success in previous directorial efforts Braveheart and Passion Of The Christ. The project would reunite him with Braveheart scribe Randall Wallace, who co-wrote the script with Robert Schenkkan and had been attached to direct.
2006's Apocalypto was the last film Gibson directed.
The project is being led by producer Bill Mechanic (Coraline) through his Pandemonium banner, with David Permut (Face Off), Terry Benedict (The Death Of Reasonable Doubt) and Steve Longi (Youth In Revolt) on board as producers. Walden Media has also been developing the project.
Gibson most recently starred in Expendables 3 and is in post on Jean-Francois Richet’s Blood Father, in which he plays an ex-con reunited with his 16-year-old daughter who must protect her from drug dealers trying to kill her.
Robert Downey Jr. Open to Doing Iron Man 4...If Mel Gibson Directs ItAttention Marvel: This is valuable information and we need you to pay attention.
Robert Downey Jr.. has openly said that there won't be an Iron Man 4, but during a recent interview with Deadline, it seems as though the Hollywood star is willing to re-think that idea and reclaim his role as Tony Stark one more time. There is one, tiny catch, though...
RDJ suggested that he's open to doing another installment of the popular franchise if his pal Mel Gibson directs it. Deadline asked, "Marvel badly wants Iron Man 4 and you've said you aren't doing it. How about the idea you'll do that movie if Mel directs it?," to which Downey responded, "Correct...Why not? That movie would be bananas."
"He has changed so much," Downey said of Gibson, who has had his fair share of troubles in the media. "Nobody should make a case for somebody who just wants forgiveness but hasn't changed, but he's a fundamentally different guy. I think it was just the very worst aspects of somebody's psyche being treated as though they were the blanket statement about a person. But honestly we are talking about a competitive business and it all comes down to this: because he is so gifted as a story teller and a director, I don't know that he requires some sort of mass forgiveness.
"He has changed, but at the same time he's still Mel. He and I are so similar in so many ways. He really, honestly is the first to admit his character defects and also is just a great, great collaborative guy. I always say too that if you want to judge a man or a woman then look at their kids. He has the healthiest, happiest, most productive kids you could ever meet or know, and I'm fortunate to be friendly with several of them. He did a lot right, and there's stuff he taught me about parenting that didn't sink in at the time but have proven to be true."
Well, what are we waiting for? Let's get this going, people!
'Expendables 3' wastes its cast with aimless plotThe Expendables 3 is as boneheaded and disposable as it sounds.
Despite its star wattage, it might be the most dismal movie of the year ( * out of four; rated PG-13; opens Friday nationwide).
It's rare that a film is both frenetic and dull, chaotic but simplistic, and inane without ever being funny. The plot could hardly be less involving or more poorly structured. Action scenes grow numbing with an unimaginative, non-suspenseful succession of explosions and gunfights. Patrick Hughes' direction is so awkward that the movie emerges as an incoherent blur.
Dialogue by star Sylvester Stallone and his co-writers is leaden, and the tight close-ups on the aging action stars are as unflattering as possible. Stallone is almost always front and center, as if it were stipulated in his contract.
Expendable 3's cast is largely avuncular and includes Harrison Ford as a shadowy government operative. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dolph Lundgren reprise their not-very-memorable roles as members of the Expendables crew. Stallone is Barney Ross, the leader of the pack. Kelsey Grammer has a small role as a mercenary. After his part in the latest Transformers installment, Grammer has the distinction of appearing in two of the year's worst movies.
Mel Gibson injects some energy as ruthless arms dealer Conrad Stonebanks, an over-the-top villain. Wesley Snipes, Jason Statham and Terry Crews are more youthful and vital members of the crew, but their roles are lackluster. And new young fighters are brought in for window dressing, given forgettable parts and left marginalized and hanging (literally) for most of the movie.
The threadbare plot involves Barney and crew capturing Stonebanks so that he can be tried for war crimes. Along the way there's a whirl of speeding vehicles, bulging muscles and numbing explosions.
Antonio Banderas joins the force as an eager assassin and is given the thankless role of loquacious comic relief. Adding insult to injury, Latin-flavored music plays in the background repeatedly when he's on screen.
The movie is filled with similar tokenism, bordering on offensive. A woman joins the ranks, in the form of bar bouncer Luna (Ronda Rousey). But she might as well be an extra for all the lines and character development she's allowed.
The one-liners land with a resounding thud. To wit (or rather, dimwit): When Stonebanks asks why he's not being transported to the Hague for trial, Barney intones, "I am the Hague."
The movie tries to trick viewers into thinking they're being entertained just by watching all of these famous grizzled action stars in one explosive place. But it forgets to give these geezers a reason to be gathering for the detonation fest.
Sequels are often lazy rehashes, but this third go-round is particularly egregious.
At one point, Ford's character Drummer seems determined to convince us we've having a good time: "I haven't had so much fun in years," he says with his trademark dry delivery.
Those same words could never be spoken by anyone watching the movie.
'Mad Max' director 'heartbroken' over Mel Gibson"Mad Max" director George Miller was "heartbroken" over Mel Gibson's string of scandals in recent years, and said plans for a new trilogy prompted him to pick a younger actor for revisiting the post-apocalyptic auto action franchise.
The 69-year-old Australian director helped launch Gibson to stardom three decades ago in the trilogy featuring stark desert landscapes, intense car chases and a bleach blonde Tina Turner. Miller had originally hoped to bring Gibson back for a fourth film in the role of Max Rockatansky. But a series of delays led to recasting, with Tom Hardy, 36, stepping into the road warrior's black boots.
"I have a great affection for Mel. I was really heartbroken to see him go into that," Miller said in a recent interview. "But it's a new time. I hope Mel gets to act in more movies because I think he's a wonderful actor. But I think he's an amazingly good director."
Miller describes "Mad Max: Fury Road" as an extended chase taking place over three days. The movie, due out next summer and also starring Charlize Theron, features minimal dialogue. The screenplay consisted of storyboards -- sketches of each planned shot -- rather than a conventional script.
"You're picking up the characters and the backstory as you go," Miller said. "And in order to create that backstory, we found ourselves having written two other screenplays. One of them is completed. The other one is in the form of a kind of unedited novel. So by the time we got there, we realized we've got a couple more Mad Max stories to tell, and that ... required us to cast someone who was younger."
Miller showed footage from "Mad Max: Fury Road" at the recent Comic-Con International in San Diego. He's still finishing work on the movie, his return to live action after directing the animated "Happy Feet" in 2006 and 2011's sequel.
"Roman Polanski had a saying, which is that there's only one perfect place for the camera at any given time. And I learned that on the animations," Miller said. "You can move the camera wherever you like. But to tell the story -- it was interesting how much you could influence the story by simply shooting from another perspective."
There is, of course, a heightened sense of danger when you're moving said camera through a high-speed motorcycle and dune buggy chase in the harsh Australian outback -- not circling cute dancing penguins via computer software.
"Particularly a film like this where we wanted to shoot like real, old-school," Miller said. "Every car you see smashed is a real car. Every stuntman you see is a real person, and in many cases the cast. ... It's like being in the middle of a real-life video game getting that footage. One, two inches too far one way or the other or a miscue and you've got disaster on your hands. It was both exhilarating and very wearying."
There were only minor injuries during the shoot, Miller said. "Mad Max: Fury Road" will roll into theatres next May.
Mel Gibson on Shia LaBeouf: 'I think he's suffering in some way'(Video) There’s one Hollywood figure who’s still on Shia LaBeouf‘s side: Mel Gibson.
The 58-year-old “Lethal Weapon” star, no stranger to controversy himself, expressed sympathy for the troubled actor in a video interview with Indie Wire posted online Tuesday.
“You’re a target. And you have to be really adept at tap dancing and dodging the bullets. And sometimes you get hit. And sometimes mortally,” Gibson told the website. “It’s pretty bad.”
“When I see someone like Shia LaBeouf with the bag on his head and stuff, my heart goes out to the poor guy. I think he’s suffering in some way,” he continued, making reference to the actor’s bizarre apology tour after he was caught plagiarizing the work of cartoonist Daniel Clowes.
“Why would he do that? People are inclined to sort of point the finger at him and say that he’s this, that, or the other. It’s easy to judge. But I’m sure he’s going through some kind of personal, very painful, cathartic thing that he has to exorcise and get out there. He’ll probably play it out and come back. Whatever it happens to be. He’ll be all right. I actually like the kid. I think he’s good. I never met him, but I like him.”
The veteran actor and director, who was at one point one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars, knows what he’s talking about, too. In 2006, Gibson’s career all but came to a stop after he went on an anti-Semitic rant while being arrested for driving under the influence.
Four years later, a recording of Gibson threatening former partner Oksana Grigorieva (with whom he has a daughter) surfaced, undoing any progress the actor had made.
Last week, LaBeouf’s representatives announced that the “Transformers” star was seeking help for alcohol addiction.
Just days earlier, the actor was arrested and charged with two counts of disorderly conduct, one count of criminal trespassing and one count of harassment after a meltdown during a performance of “Cabaret” in New York.
Why Mel Gibson Won't Finance More of His Own Films: 'I'm Not a Fool' (Q&A)(hollywoodreporter.com) The actor, at Karlovy Vary to pick up a lifetime achievement award, tells THR about his new projects. "I never did really have a master plan," he says.
Gary Oldman's recent controversial comments and references to Mel Gibson "biting the [Hollywood] hand that feeds him" may have revived the controversy over the actor-director's 2006 anti-Semitic remarks, but for Gibson himself, the affair is long over and not up for discussion.
Gibson, in Karlovy Vary to pick up the festival's Crystal Globe for lifetime achievement, instead spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about his new projects and why he won't finance any more of his films.
Oldman revived discussion of your controversial comments and often strained relationship with Hollywood. Do you think you've resolved those issues?
It's behind me; it's an 8-year-old story. It keeps coming up like a rerun, but I've dealt with it and I've dealt with it responsibly and I've worked on myself for anything I am culpable for. All the necessary mea culpas have been made copious times, so for this question to keep coming up, it's kind of like ... I'm sorry they feel that way, but I've done what I need to do.
You've played a wide range of roles as an actor and made movies as a director with difficult themes, like Apocalypto and The Passion of the Christ. What do you want to do now?
It's tricky, those films you refer to, nobody would have financed them, they more or less worked, but I would never have got anyone else to finance them. I'm out of that business of financing my own films because they see you coming and take you for a ride. I'm not a fool. It's difficult for the things I deem worthy to direct, where you can get a really good compelling story out of — nobody else has much faith in it and never did.
Is there anything specific you can talk about now?
There are specific things, but I don't want to talk about them, you know why? Because every time I do somebody else goes and does it. It's a kind of industrial espionage thing and they do it badly for TV.
What roles are looking to play?
Nothing specific, but I've just finished a film in New Mexico, called Blood Father directed by Jean-Francois Richet, a very nice, good French film director and the theme for him is very Americana. I play this motorcycle guy who happens to have a daughter, who happens to be in trouble … and an adventure ensues.
Do films that explore such relationships interest you?
It varies … I never did really have a master plan. I just do what's in front of me and what interests me at the time. There are ideas everywhere and they come literally from everywhere and that's good. But there are no new ideas, ever. The only thing you can do that is different is to execute the idea differently.
Karlovy Vary Fest To Present Its Highest Award To Mel GibsonMel Gibson will receive the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival‘s top award for his “many years of artistic engagement in international cinema”. The actor-helmer-producer will present a screening of the 2006 film Apocalypto, his most recent directorial effort. Gibson’s next acting gig is in action-comedy sequel The Expendables 3, and he is filming the lead role in Blood Father. The 49th Karlovy Vary fest is set for July 4-12 in the Czech Republic resort town west of Prague.
Mel Gibson ARRESTED In New Mexico ... For A Movie -- Fake Jail Booking(Photo) Mel Gibson walked into an Albuquerque jail this morning for a booking ... which turned out to be fake, because he's doing it for a flick.
Mel is in New Mexico, shooting "Blood Father." Mel, who plays an ex-con, went to the courthouse in a suit and tie after shooting the jail scene ... presumably for a hearing in his fake criminal case.
Expendables 3 First Trailer Released: Watch Mel Gibson, Wesley Snipes, Kellan Lutz and More Stars Blow Things Up(Trailer) What do you think of when you hear Expendables 3? Fire? Explosives? Fighting? A lot of badassery?
Well, if your answer to that is yes, yes, yes and hell yes, then you'll be greatly pleased with the trailer for Nu Image and Millennium Films' The Expendables 3 because it's nearly two and a half minutes of high-energy, action-packed craziness.
But along with glimpses of stuff blowing up and bad guys getting banged up, fans can get a glimpse of an actual plot and some new famous faces—yep, there's even more A-listers tied to this already-star-studded franchise.
Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham and the rest of the boys are back, but this time around they're also joined by some other Hollywood heavyweights. The film's notable "roll call" includes Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford, Kelsey Grammer, Antonio Banderas and Wesley Snipes...to name a few.
In the latest film, The Expendables come into conflict with ruthless arms dealer Conrad Stonebanks (Gibson), the Expendables' co-founder, who is determined to destroy the team. Dun, dun, dunnn...
Watch the clip and make sure to catch The Expendables 3 in theaters on Aug. 15.
Mel Gibson Hangs with Ring Girls at UFC(Photo) Mel Gibson was all smiles at UFC Fight Night 42 ... flanked by some pretty hot ring girls.
Gibson was front and center for the Henderson/Khabilov main card in Albuquerque. Mel hung out with some of the fighters, include Clay Guida and Cub Swanson.
With his criminal record expunged in the whole Oksana Grigorieva thing ... Mel seems care-free.
As for the main bout ... we're guessing he was not rooting for the Russian.
'Expendables 3' cast rolls into Cannes in tanks(Pic) Who needs a red carpet?
The megawatt cast of "Expendables 3" made a spectacular debut at Cannes on Sunday, rolling down the famous Croisette in tanks as a throng of onlookers and media jostled for a better view of its cargo: Sly Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford, Antonio Banderas, and Jason Statham. And that was just part one of the entourage.
Banderas was hardly exaggerating in the subsequent press conference when he called it the "hall of fame" of action heroes.
"The chance to work with all these guys is very very rare," said Stallone, the film's original star and creator, sitting between Schwarzenegger and Gibson.
Since the first "Expendables" in 2010, the cast has ballooned to seemingly include almost every star that's flexed a muscle on film: The third edition includes younger stars such as Kellan Lutz and Ronda Rousey (the only woman in the cast), as well as Wesley Snipes and Kelsey Grammer.
Ford called joining the cast "a lot of fun," and that was clear from the camaraderie at the press conference (which needed two rows of seats to fit everyone).
There were plenty of compliments: Schwarzenegger called Stallone one of his "great inspirations, while Stallone gushed about the former California governor's great mind; Banderas said he was honored, as a Spaniard, to be included.
The cast also cracked jokes at the expense of each other, and themselves: Age was a natural target, given the advanced age of most of it's top-billed stars.
"I think Lincoln was in the White House when we first met," quipped Stallone, 67, about Ford, 71.
Later, when asked when the stars when know when it was time to retire, Stallone said: "When you're ass falls off, it's time to retire," before adding: "We're children with arthritis! We're young forever!"
Though much of the cast are senior citizens, Stallone, is hoping to reach a younger generation with the next film with a PG-13 rating instead of the R-rating of the others to expand its reach.
Stallone also said the franchise would return to its action roots; the second one delved "too far" into the comic realm, he said.
"I realized we should get back into dramatic. When the action starts, I don't like to do joke action," Stallone said. "I feel like we finally got it right on the third one — kind of like a marriage."
Over The Cannes Transom: Worldview On Mel Gibson PicWhile we’re out chasing news, the press releases keep coming. Deadline broke news last March that Mel Gibson would star in the Jean-Francois Richet-directed Blood Father, and the news today is that Worldview Entertainment will co-fi and produce the drama, which Peter Craig adapted from his novel. Gibson will play an ex-con who reunites with his estranged wayward 16-year old daughter to protect her from drug dealers who are trying to kill her. Filming just started. Wild Bunch will handle international sales here and CAA is repping domestic.
Mel Gibson's Battery Conviction Expunged -- Record is CLEANIf Mel Gibson ever has to fill out an employment application ... he can honestly say he has not been convicted of a violent crime ... because his battery conviction in the Oksana Grigorieva case has been expunged.
A judge has officially removed the conviction from Mel's record ... after he successfully completed his 3 years probation.
TMZ broke the story ... the paperwork had been filed to erase the conviction for hitting Oksana in the mouth and knocking out 2 veneers.
Mel has done his 16 hours of community service and 52 weeks of counseling.
So Oksana is officially out of his life, except for the fact that she'll never be out of his life because they had a kid together.
Cannes: Sly, Arnie, Mel & More To Storm Croisette For Mega 'Expendables 3' EventIn one of the greatest assemblages of international star power — and muscle — that Cannes has ever seen, a baker’s dozen of Expendables 3 castmembers are set to hit town on Sunday, May 18 for a full day of events. Attending are Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford, Wesley Snipes, Antonio Banderas, Dolph Lundgren, Kelsey Grammer, Randy Couture, Kellan Lutz, Victor Ortiz and Glen Powell, along with director Patrick Hughes. Millennium Films president Mark Gill tells me the day will start with a screening of footage from the movie, followed by the action brigade arriving at the Carlton Hotel for a press conference and photo call. How will they get there? Why, in tanks of course! Millennium, which is organizing the testosterone fest, is seeing that a stretch of the Croisette is shut down to accommodate the armored vehicles. At the Carlton, it’s also bought banners representing each of the characters which will adorn the façade. Later that evening, there will be a big soirée at the Palm Beach nightclub.
Cannes is habitually used as a platform to launch and promote Hollywood movies off the red carpet, but in recent years the studios have cut back on some of the excesses of yore. Gill allows that the cost that comes with staging such an event isn’t negligable, but says, “For a 30-second TV spot in America, you spend just as much.” Cannes is, “for better or for worse, the place where the whole world is watching for 10 days.” Coming to the third movie in the franchise, the event will also highlight that the collection of actors is bigger than ever before. “We need to find a way to differentiate apart from telling different stories.” Indeed, because of the way the movies are made, and with schedules so tight, this is the first time all of the actors will be together.
In terms of worldwide media coverage, Cannes brings strong value. Expendables 2 made $305M globally, more than $220M of that from international and the thinking goes that this one could perform even better when it begins rolling out August 13. In the meantime, we’ll check out the scene when this goes down on the Croisette next week. Cannes is no stranger to stunts, but this one could take the (beef)cake.
Mel Gibson -- Battery Conviction to be EXPUNGEDMel Gibson will have his battery conviction ERASED from his record ... as if the Oksana Grigorieva mouth-punching incident NEVER happened ... TMZ has learned.
Mel's lawyer filed legal docs -- obtained by TMZ -- asking the judge to expunge his no contest plea from his record.
Gibson was charged with battery for hitting Grigorieva in the mouth, knocking out several veneers. He actually confessed to striking her in a sworn declaration in his custody case, admitting, "I slapped Oksana one time with an open hand in an attempt to bring her back to reality."
According to docs Mel has completed ALL of the requirements the judge laid down after he copped a plea in March, 2011. Those requirements included 16 hours of community service and 52 weeks of counseling. He was also required to maintain "peaceful contact" with Grigorieva.
Gibson was placed on 3 years probation, which ended in March.
The hearing is set for later this month. The judge will allow Mel to withdraw his plea, the case will be dismissed and his criminal record will be expunged.
Mel Gibson - The Expendables 3Mel Gibson - The Expendables 3: Photo.
Mel Gibson In Talks To Team With 'Mesrine' Helmer In Thriller 'Blood Father'Mel Gibson is in talks to next star in Blood Father, a Taken-style action thriller that will be directed by Jean-Francois Richet, best known for helming Mesrine. The film will begin production in May in New Mexico. Scripted by The Town‘s Peter Craig, it’s about an ex-con who reunites with his estranged wayward 16-year old daughter to protect her from drug dealers who are trying to kill her. It’s being fast tracked by Why Not Productions and Chris Briggs. The film is still coming together, and there is no U.S. distribution yet.
Oksana Grigorieva -- It's Mel Gibson to the Rescue ... In Bankruptcy CaseMel Gibson may end up saving the woman who ruined him.
Oksana Grigorieva just filed docs in her bankruptcy case, claiming she can only afford $372 a month to repay her debts -- listed at $438,000 -- but at that rate, it will take her nearly a hundred years to make good.
So, Oksana is asking the court to clear the balance of her debts after 5 years -- when she'll only have repaid $22,320 ... or 5% of her total debt ... most of which she owes to the lawyers she employed in her war against Mel.
The funny part ... Mel is currently paying Oksana $20,000 a month in child support for their daughter Lucia -- so if she gets what she's asking for in the bankruptcy case, she could clear her debt in one fell swoop with a single child support check from her one time sugar daddy.
So the lawyers get screwed, Mel gets screwed and Oksana ... well, that's just what she does.
Mel Gibson -- All Is Good With the World(Photo) You can see the pleasure in Mel Gibson's face as he left a restaurant in Malibu Friday. He didn't want to talk about Oksana Grigorieva and the fact that she has gone belly up ... filing for bankruptcy. But you can see a certain peacefulness and calm that hasn't been exactly front and center.
As we previously reported ... Oksana could have been set for life if she didn't reject Mel's $15 million settlement back in the day, when those tapes were just between them. But she got greedy, and ended up with $750K and lots of lawyers bills. And half of that money was taken away because she blabbed about Mel ... violating their confidentiality agreement.
Fact is ... Oksana is still riding Mel's gravy train. He's paying $20K a month for child support, and that will likely last until Lucia turns 18.
But Mel clearly had a good day in the Bu.
Jason Patric battles for in-vitro sonActor Jason Patric is fighting back against California’s confusing laws that have kept him away from son Gus.
Patric fathered the boy, 3, with girlfriend Danielle Schreiber via in-vitro fertilization. But the couple later broke up and Patric wasn’t recognized as the father, according to California law, which gives sperm donors no parental rights unless they are married to the mother or have a written agreement.
“The Lost Boys” star says he hasn’t seen Gus in 38 weeks since Schreiber cut off contact. Now, the distressed dad is taking action. He hosted the first Stand Up for Gus fund-raiser in Los Angeles Wednesday night to raise money to support a legal defense for families who have been “broken down from this system.”
Patric explained to us: “I don’t have nights with Gus anymore, so I’m going to have this evening, and we’re going to shine a light on this injustice.”
A-list supporters of Patric’s cause on Wednesday included Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Jon Hamm, Chelsea Handler and Kiefer Sutherland. Damon committed $15,000 to the cause during a paddle raise, but Mel Gibson trumped Damon’s offer and coughed up $20,000, to which emcee Joe Buck quipped: “Well Matt, you know what just happened .?.?. Mel just made your 15 look like nothing.”
Patric plans to make the fund-raiser more than a one-off event — “not only an annual thing, it’s a movement,” he said. “It’s going to continue every day and we need more than one event a year. I hope one day Gus will be running it on his own.”
'Machete' kills the fun with overload of violenceMachete Kills dulls more than anything.
It's not that Robert Rodriguez's sequel (** out of four; rated R; opens Friday nationwide) lacks any of the camp or exploitative violence of the 2010 original. The mayhem has just become boring.
One could argue the joke was already getting old by the middle of the first film, around the time the body count hit triple digits.
But this is overkill, literally. And it turns the film's clever opening, a mock trailer touting a Machete 3 — in outer space — into more of a threat than a promise.
Danny Trejo returns as Machete, a Charles Bronson with a ponytail. And the film makes a clear nod to its Death Wish roots, as Machete promptly loses the love of his life when Sartana (Jessica Alba) is whacked by a killer sporting a Mexican wrestling mask.
That's reason enough for Machete to get all stabby, though the movie clearly aims to be as kitschy as it is bloody. Just before he's killed by a redneck sheriff, our muscular mumbler is recruited by the feds for a secret government mission: to prevent revolutionaries from bombing the White House, home of President Rathcock, played by Charlie Sheen. Uh huh.
There's no denying the film's fun spot-the-star cameo challenge: Mel Gibson, Lady Gaga, Sofia Vergara and Michelle Rodriguez must have a fondness for camp and arterial spray, and they infuse Machete with genuine energy.
Trejo, too, clearly enjoys being a Bond with a bandoleer. Since he played a Mexican drug cartel boss who literally loses his head in Breaking Bad, Trejo has become that invaluable Hollywood commodity: the lovable, lethal thug. It's hard not to root for Machete, even when he's playing rabid barber. And he gets the best lines of the movie, such as "Machete happens," and "Machete don't tweet."
Alas, Machete suffers the same fatal flaw as its flashier, higher-priced action flick siblings: mayhem that's so thumping and relentless it become repetitive.
Rodriguez's love of exploitation films seems endless, given that his 2007 double feature with Quentin Tarantino, Grindhouse/Planet Terror, apparently did not satisfy his pulp bloodlust. And his Star Wars references are terrific.
But there's a reason grindhouse cinema was short-lived. As Machete's mock trailer underscores, the bedlam is good for a few laughs before the shtick goes stale. Visually, Machete is a stone-cold killer. As a story, it barely breaks the skin.
Mel Gibson apes Tesla's Elon Musk in 'Machete Kills'Mel Gibson has discovered the perks that go with portraying an eccentric billionaire modeled on Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk.
The actor gets to tool around in an a Star Wars-style landspeeder in the campy astro-exploitation film Machete Kills, which comes to theaters Friday.
The scene, played straight, got one of the biggest laughs at a recent screening as Gibson's character, Luther Voz, showed the Mexican mercenary Machete (Danny Trejo) around his space plant, rolling along at dizzying speeds of four miles per hour. That photo is exclusive to us.
"It's a regular golf cart with the landspeeder body around it," filmmaker Robert Rodriguez tells Drive On. "Originally I was going to erase the wheels, because Mel Gibson's character would have the technology to not need wheels."
"But then I thought it was funnier with the wheels," he says. "And I'm so low 'budge.'"
Rodriguez says he was inspired to make madman Voz a Star Wars junkie after meeting Tesla Motors and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk at a Hollywood party. The two hit it off and Musk gave Rodriguez a tour of SpaceX where he showed him the company's Falcon rocket. The title piqued Rodriguez's interest.
"He said that it was based on the Millennium Falcon," laughs Rodriguez. "And I thought, 'Oh my God, I am totally going to have Mel Gibson's character be inspired by his favorite movies and making his dreams come true.' So I had a bunch of Star Wars references, even the golf cart that takes him around."
"The real life story was better than the fantasy," says Rodriguez.
Mel Gibson: Sharp as a bad guy in 'Machete Kills'Mel Gibson is breaking bad onscreen.
The 57-year-old actor and director is making a screen return in roles far from the edgy, good-guy characters he portrayed in box-office franchises ranging from Lethal Weapon to Road Warrior.
In Machete Kills (out Oct. 11), Gibson goes for full baddie as arms dealer Luther Voz, while in The Expendables 3, now shooting in Bulgaria, Gibson goes malevolent against Sylvester Stallone and company.
"I guess it seems like there is a pattern," says Gibson, who acknowledges he's never played a "full-on villain."
"Those are the juicy parts. You go to movies and it's the bad guys that you really dig," he says. "It's interesting territory to explore. He represents the dark side that we all are capable of."
The former box-office titan's career has been in low gear since 2010, when audio tapes of an enraged Gibson played on a tabloid website and damaged his reputation. His starring role in the Jodie Foster-directed The Beaver in 2011 flopped at the box office, and while 2012's Get the Gringo received solid reviews, it went straight to video on demand.
During Gringo's Austin premiere, Machete Kills director Robert Rodriguez proposed the role of Voz, who goes maniacally rogue and forces the the U.S. president (Charlie Sheen) to sic the mercenary Machete (Danny Trejo) on him.
"You have a larger-than-life villain who is bent on destroying the world," says Rodriguez. "Mel just really appealed and popped out as the guy. I had to explore it fully before I could even consider another actor. I really responded to him as an artist, I wasn't chasing a tabloid.''
Gibson liked the idea of a Bond-like villain and he was also a fan of Rodiguez's original blood fest, 2010's Machete.
"I laughed until I almost got sick because of the sheer, shameless exploitation," Gibson says. "I said 'Let's do it.' "
Rodriguez says Gibson was a collaborator on the set, and he even had ideas about a scene in which Voz watches his henchmen deal with Machete on a video monitor while eating Macadamia nuts.
"Mel put one into his mouth and said, 'These are terrible. Do you mind if I spit them out even though you're not supposed to do that with these?' " Rodriguez recalls. "So it turned into this very odd moment with these Macadamia nuts."
Gibson's double take at the video monitor watching Machete's actions was so effective, Rodriguez repeated the scene in the film's closing credits.
"That kind of sums up the movie experience," says Rodriguez. "(Gibson) was constantly inventive in making every moment unique."
When reports surfaced in 2010 that Gibson would appear in a Hangover Part IIcameo, the cast reacted negatively. (Liam Neeson eventually filled the part.) But in Machete Kills the cast was game to have Gibson onboard. In their first meeting on the set, Gibson immediately noticed a chronic shoulder injury Trejo has suffered from since 1968.
"He just started messing with my shoulder. And all of a sudden I had no more shoulder problems," says Trejo. "And all of sudden he's cracking people's backs. He could have opened a chiropractor clinic. He just understands the body."
During a climatic sword scene, Trejo paid his respects by acknowledging Gibson's Oscar-winning turn in 1995's Braveheart.
"Before Robert said 'action,' I threw my sword down and said 'I'm not fighting William Wallace,'" says Trejo, who was impressed with Gibson's villain. "Mel owned that part. He's one of the greats. I don't care about anyone's baggage. He came on and did his job."
For Conrad Stonebanks in The Expendables 3 (due out next summer), Gibson has even sculpted himself into shape, working with a trainer and modifying his diet over three months before trying to annihilate Sylvester Stallone and his crew.
"I just want Sly to look good. And he's not going to look good if he's beating up a fat old man," says Gibson. "I have been working really hard at it. A lot of cardio and very light weight training, nothing heavy."
Gibson looks so cut that after he was photographed leaving a Malibu gym, online pundits insisted he couldn't have achieved the look without steroids.
"That's just hard work, dude," Gibson insists. When asked about steroids he laughs: "Have you seen the side-effects of some of that crap? Forget it, that's too scary."
The positive notices that Gibson already has received for Machete Kills have him contemplating a return to directing, though he won't specify a project. Meanwhile, Rodriguez says Gibson tested well enough with audiences that he has featured his villain prominently in Machete Kills' trailers.
"People responded great to him and they liked that he was actually playing the villain," says Rodriguez. "The villains are the best and Mel had a field day."
'Machete Kills' red band trailer has Mel Gibson in a cape, insane violence(Video) There's a new red band trailer for "Machete Kills" and it's ridiculous, which is perfect. It's got lots of guns, blood, violence and a crazy Mel Gibson fighting in a cape. It doesn't get more over the top than this, at least until the next "Machete" movie.
You also get some Lady Gaga, Sofia Vergara's gun panties, not to be confused with her gun bra, and what might be the two most creative ways to kill someone via helicopter. Kudos to you, Machete.
"Machete Kills," also starring Danny Trejo, Amber Heard and Charlie Sheen, is in theaters October 11.
'Machete Kills' photos: Mel Gibson with a human heart in a jar and more(Photo, Photo2) Are you ready for "Machete Kills"? If not, you'd better get ready, because it's in theaters October 4.
Mel Gibson Goes Off On Malibu Cops -- 'Why Are You Harassing Me?'Mel Gibson had an angry encounter with Malibu cops last Saturday -- the good news ... he was sober and left the Jews out of it.
Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... just after 1:00 AM Mel and a female passenger rolled up to a DUI checkpoint on Pacific Coast Highway -- the same road where Mel was famously busted for DUI in 2006 -- where he ranted against the Jews.
We're told deputies asked Mel if he had been drinking. He said no and cops had no reason to suspect otherwise.
But there was a problem ... Cops asked Mel to produce his license, and Mel didn't have it on him. At that point deputies told Mel to go to a secondary screening spot, and that's when Gibson got angry. We're told Mel yelled, "Why are you harassing me?" Deputies asked why Mel was screaming and he responded, "I have had problems with you Lost Hills [Malibu] deputies in the past."
Things cooled down when deputies let Mel off with a warning.
Mel drove off and did not blame deputies or Jews for the whole Syrian thing.
Mel Gibson -- Mexican Dinner Date with World's Richest Spawn(Photo, Photo2) Mel Gibson went to dinner with the son of the RICHEST MAN IN THE WORLD last night ... in Mexico ... and no one was abducted. Hooray!
Gibson's dinner date was Carlos Slim Domit, eldest son of Carlos Slim Helu ... whose reported net worth is $73 BILLION. (Bill Gates is a close second with $67 billion).
Mel and Carlos Jr. were photographed on their way out of a fancy restaurant called Casa Anis in an upscale neighborhood of Mexico City called Polanco.
It's unclear how they know each other or what they talked about at dinner -- but we hear the restaurant has great crab cakes. So, there's that ...
Mel Gibson JACKED -- Check Out My Lethal Weapons(Photos) Mel Gibson is only hitting one thing these days ... the gym ... just check out the diesel arms he unveiled in L.A. on Friday.
Makes sense. 57-year-old Gibson is set to play the villain in next year's action flick "Expendables 3" alongside equally yoked middle-aged actors Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Statham, and Dolph Lundgren ... so bulking up is kind of expected.
But we're still blown away, and not just by Gibson's guns. We don't think we've ever seen the guy in a tank top before.
Mel Gibson, Antonio Banderas Join 'Expendables 3'I’ve confirmed that Mel Gibson and Antonio Banderas have joined The Expendables 3, the Millennium Entertainment pic that already picked up Harrison Ford to add to the cast that has begun to resemble the Old Timers Day game held annually at Yankee Stadium. Sylvester Stallone continues to bring in aging action muscle for the franchise he hatched back in 2010. Why Stallone and Millennium continue to ignore Jeff Speakman and Brian Bosworth is beyond me, and they seem to be about the only action heroes who haven’t joined the beefcake brigade. Is Sly saving them for a fourth movie?