Belfast Telegraph

Mel Gibson to make Jewish film?

Mel Gibson has courted controversy with a planned film about Jewish icon Judah Maccabee.

The Lethal Weapon star, who has been accused of anti-semitism in the past, is set to star as the religious leader in the as-yet-untitled heroic drama scripted by Basic Instinct writer Joe Eszterhas, reports Deadline.

The story would focus on Judah's triumph over tyranny and oppression as he leads the Jewish revolt against the Greek-Syrian armies that had conquered Judea in the second century BC.

But Jewish leaders have spoken out about the potential casting, insisting that Mel - whose 2004 film The Passion Of The Christ became a talking point - is the wrong person to portray Judah.

Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti Defamation League, who criticised Mel's controversial 2004 film The Passion Of The Christ, told The Hollywood Reporter: "Judah Maccabee deserves better. He is a hero of the Jewish people and a universal hero in the struggle for religious liberty. It would be a travesty to have his story told by one who has no respect and sensitivity for other people's religious views."

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