In the continuing fallout from the decision to shelve Mel Gibson’s planned film about Judah Maccabee, TheWrap has published a nine-page letter from The Maccabees screenwriter Joe Eszterhaus, in which the writer of Basic Instinct and Showgirls (as well as the “Oh shoot, my dad’s a Nazi war criminal!” thriller Music Box) accuses Gibson of never having really wanted to make the movie. Instead, Eszterhaus says, the actor was cynically using the project to “deflect continuing charges of anti-Semitism which have dogged you, charges which have crippled your career.”
In the letter, Eszterhaus writes that he had repeatedly heard Gibson refer to Jews as “‘Hebes’ and ‘oven-dodgers’ and ‘Jewboys’” and complain that they are the “gatekeepers” who control most of American business, refer to the Holocaust as “mostly a lot of horseshit,” and mixed up the Torah with the notorious anti-Semitic hoax The Protocols Of The Elders Of Zion. He also mentions, almost as if he were preparing a document intended to go public rather than address the person who surely must remember having done all these terrible things, that Gibson had told him that he had a couple of friends in the FBI with whom he was planning to arrange the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Oksana Grigorieva.
Not since Dr. Evil and Goldmember have two respected pillars of the super-villain community teamed up, only to fall out in a spectacular fashion. The fate of the movie remains uncertain, because Gibson has shown a pretty solid ability to do whatever the hell he wants, whether or not anyone else in Hollywood wants him to do it. But one happy possibility (for Eszterhaus) is that this will help deflect attention from those continuing charges that his script stinks. [TheWrap]