You may or may not be surprised to discover that Mel Gibson is in hot water again.
Gibson was set to produce the film – detailing the Judean revolt against the Greek-Syrian armies – for Warner Bros, and would perhaps even direct.
He seemed excited about the project, exclaiming the following to author Jeffrey Goldberg:
“The armies they faced had elephants! How cinematic is this!”
However, much time has passed, and Eszterhas is annoyed that Gibson’s camp have made no further contact with him since announcing the film. Last month, Warner Bros revealed they would not proceed with the project.
Well… The Wrap has obtained a letter from Eszterhas to Gibson in which he expresses his disappointment, and suggests he had ulterior motives for stringing him along.
“I’ve come to the conclusion that the reason you won’t make “The Maccabees” is the ugliest possible one. You hate Jews.”
He elaborates, at length, here.
In the remainder of the letter, Eszterhas suggests Gibson used a litany of anti-Semitic slurs in their time together, described the Holocaust as “mostly a lot of ‘horses***’, and had hoped this film would “convert the Jews to Christianity.”
UPDATE! Gibson has responded. Here’s an excerpt, courtesy of Deadline:
“I have your letter. I am not going to respond to it line by line, but I will say that the great majority of the facts as well as the statements and actions attributed to me in your letter are utter fabrications. I would have thought that a man of principle, as you purport to be, would have withdrawn from the project regardless of the money if you truly believed me to be the person you describe in your letter. I guess you only had a problem with me after Warner Brothers rejected your script.”