Belfast Telegraph

Rows threaten Maccabee film future

The future of a film about ancient Jewish warrior Judah Maccabee may be close to flickering out, following a rejected script and allegations of anti-Semitic comments by Mel Gibson.

Warner Bros spokesman Paul McGuire said the studio was "analysing what to do with the project".

The film was to be a collaboration between producer Gibson and screenwriter Joe Eszterhas. After the studio recently rejected Eszterhas' script, the screenwriter accused Gibson of anti-Semitism in a letter published online.

Braveheart and Lethal Weapon star Gibson responded with his own letter denying the allegations.

In 2006 Gibson was arrested for drink-driving and a leaked arrest report revealed that he used anti-Semitic and sexist slurs.

The Eszterhas allegations and Gibson's history prompted Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre to issue a statement calling for Warner Bros and all other studios "to permanently shelve the Maccabee project as long as Mel Gibson is associated with the film".

The Maccabees' unlikely victory over those who would repress Jewish religious freedoms is celebrated on Chanukah, the Jewish festival of light.


From Belfast Telegraph