Mel Gibson’s film project about Judah Maccabee never really stood a chance from the beginning.
First of all, it’s a Mel Gibson movie about Jews. Secondly, it’s supposed to be, umm, pro-Jewish. Gibson had to deal with Jewish groups freaking out about how insensitive his decision to make the movie is, and now he also has to deal with not having a writer, since Warner Bros. passed on the original script, written by Joe Eszterhas.
Actually, not really. Eszterhas accuses Gibson of never actually intending to make the movie about the Maccabees, but rather using it as “an attempt to deflect continuing charges of anti-Semitism which have dogged you, charges which have crippled your career.”
He also added, “I’ve come to the conclusion that the reason you won’t make ‘The Maccabees’ is the ugliest possible one. You hate Jews.” And he gives examples:
“You continually called Jews ‘Hebes’ and ‘oven-dodgers’ and ‘Jewboys.’ It seemed that most times when we discussed someone, you asked ‘He’s a Hebe, isn’t he?’ You said most ‘gatekeepers’ of American companies were ‘Hebes’ who ‘controlled their bosses.’”
The slurs continued, as the two worked together:
“You said the Holocaust was ‘mostly a lot of horseshit.’ You said the Torah made reference to the sacrifice of Christian babies and infants. When I told you that you were confusing the Torah with The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, … you insisted ‘it’s in the Torah — it’s in there!’ (It isn’t).”
And he said Gibson told him that his intention in making “The Maccabees” was “to convert the Jews to Christianity.”
Gibson responded by stating, “I guess you only had a problem with me after Warner Brothers rejected your script, like most creative people I am passionate and intense.”
Ah, Mel. “Passionate and intense,” that’s how you call it today? It seems like the two can continue to yell at each other, as long as we won’t have to deal with any new Gibson movies coming out anytime soon.