Well, we’re just past the midway point of 2012, and the troubled Mel Gibson is dogged by controversy. Earlier this year he got into a public feud with Joe Eszterhas, who went public with another recording of Gibson blowing his top, with the screenwriter asserting that he was still up to his anti-Semitic ways, while Gibson claimed he was furious because Eszterhas had done little work on the Maccabees script. Nevertheless, Gibson has dusted himself and continues to press forward, bagging the villain role in Robert Rodriguez‘s “Machete Kills” (see an on set report right here), and he’s keeping his eye on the future.
In an interview with ComingSoon, Gibson revealed that his long-developing Viking movie “Berserker” is still in the works, and offered up a couple more details about the flick. “….I believe it’s going forward. I’ve talked to actors and stuff, and there are some good names attached who want to do it,” he said, while elaborating on previous reports that it would take a page from “Apocalypto” and be in defunct Old Norse and Anglo-Saxon langauges. “I’d thought about that at one time but then when you consider that English comes from the middle English language, it’s not a big jump. I’ll do something that’s understandable for a modern audience. But it won’t be the English they’re used to.”
Gibson confirms that Leonardo DiCaprio has exited the picture, but overall, it looks like the script he’s co-written with Randall Wallace is every bit as epic as you might expect. “I’ve got a great script. And the idea’s been batting around my head for years. And I couldn’t find a way to make it work, because if you look at what Vikings did, they’re pretty unsympathetic. And there’s no point in doing Viking light. So I had to find a way to find devices and ways to make that work dramatically, intelligently and make it seem realistic so it’s about real conflict in a real era in the 9th century, so that you actually see behavior and a new mode of thought seeping in. By the 11th century there weren’t any of these guys left anymore,” he explained about the movie.
Financing is still coming together for this one, so there’s no exact word on when it might actually head in front of cameras, but it does seem to be in a good place. But one franchise you won’t see Gibson in any more is “Lethal Weapon.” Even though Warner Bros. announced in 2011 they would be prepping it for a remake, in this age when movie series never seem to be finished, Gibson responded about any interest he would have in “Lethal Weapon 5” if it ever crossed his desk.
“No. I think the way things are going with ‘Total Recall,’ they’ll just remake those somehow. Though it’s really tough to replace Danny [Glover]. He was so amazing in those things. It was a good gig for us. It worked. But we knew it would,” he said. “…I had fun on every one of them and they were lucrative and good to me. And they really afforded me the opportunity to slow down and pick things and do things that really interested me. Like this ‘[Get The] Gringo‘ thing which didn’t pay but it was a good thing to have done.”
So that’s where Mel is at right now. Read the full interview for his thoughts on the upcoming “Mad Max” and more.