NEW YORK (JTA) — The Anti-Defamation League criticized Mel Gibson following news that he is planning to make a film based on the life of Judah Maccabee.
Gibson’s Icon Productions concluded a production deal with Warner Bros. Studio for the movie project.
“We would have hoped that Warner Bros. could have found someone better than Mel Gibson to direct or perhaps star in a film on the life of the Jewish historical icon Judah Maccabee,” the ADL’s national director, Abraham Foxman, said in a statement last Friday.
It is not yet clear whether Gibson will act in or direct the film. Joe Eszterhas is reportedly going to write the screenplay.
Gibson’s 2004 film “The Passion of the Christ” angered many in the Jewish community who felt that it played into notions of Jewish culpability for the killing of Jesus. Later he landed in hot water after spewing anti-Semitic invective during a drunken confrontation with a police officer.
"Not only has Mel Gibson shown outward antagonism toward Jews and Judaism in his public statements and actions, but his previous attempt to bring biblical history to life on the screen was marred by anti-Semitism," Foxman said in his statement.