According to screenwriter Joe Eszterhas, Mel Gibson is always raging against the Jews and never intended to make "The Maccabees," an epic about Jewish heroism, and only said he was going to in order to deflect the criticism surrounding his two highly publicized and objectively disgusting anti-Semitic outbursts. Contradicting himself, Eszterhaus also accuses Gibson of wanting to make the film in order to convert Jews to Christianity.
According to Mel Gibson, the two men did exchange words, none of them involving Jews, and what Eszterhaus is up to here is stirring the pot in order to take the focus off the fact that he delivered a lousy script. Gibson also raises a valid point when he asks why Eszterhaus would work in an environment where someone is always raging about Jews in the worst possible manner.
According to Warner Bros. Eszterhaus delivered a lousy script.
Gibson's story is the more logical, but with his history, who knows what the truth is. The bottom line is that Gibson intends to move forward with this project with or without Warners.
Regrettably, I can't find the article, but it was one that changed my mind completely about the idea of Gibson taking on this Maccabee project. After Gibson announced last year that his next project would be the tale of Jewish hero Judah Maccabee, this writer made an excellent point about how hurtful it is to Jews that a man guilty of saying the things Gibson did (twice) would choose such a project.
Think about how we conservatives feel when an anti-American leftist like Oliver Stone chooses to make a film about 9/11 or George W. Bush. Think about how we feel when a Leftist like Meryl Streep takes on Lady Thatcher or Jane Fonda a conservative icon like Nancy Reagan.
I don't really care who's telling the truth in this latest dust up or how long Mel Gibson has been working on this project or how well-intentioned he might be in the making of it. After two unpardonable outbursts, the actor's road to redemption is a lifelong one, and one act of contrition along the way should be to give up this project and let the Jewish people exhale with relief in knowing that, of all people, Mel Gibson will not be the one defining and interpreting one of their heroes on the big screen.
When you hurt someone, sometimes the right thing to do is not to chase them down and make them listen to your apology -- so you feel better. Sometimes the right thing to do is to just get the hell out of their life and leave them alone.