One of the oddest movies set to hit theaters in 2011 is the Jodie Foster-directed The Beaver, which stars the ever-controversial Mel Gibson as a man who utilizes a toy beaver puppet in order to get his life back on track.

After Gibson’s real life shenanigans made it a dubious decision for the studio to release The Beaver, Summit Entertainment finally bit the bullet just before last Christmas and set a March 23, 2011 release date for the movie. However, it has just been revealed that the movie will now hit theaters two months later than before.

Deadline reports that Summit has decided to delay the release of The Beaver, with the comedy/drama now opening in limited release on May 6th, and opening up for a wider release two weeks later.

So what’s the deal? Is the movie having some post-production issues? Is the studio wary of Gibson’s reputation once more? Is the movie lacking in quality and so the studio is dumping it into a near-summer slot in a desperate bid to make more money?

Actually, it appears to be none of those things and in fact there are a couple of other reasons for the delay: Firstly, Foster is apparently off shooting a movie in Europe and wouldn’t be around next month to promote the film (she will be back in time for the May release date). Secondly, Summit wants to wait a while in order for the (hopefully) positive word-of-mouth to spread from the film’s premiere on March 16th at the SXSW Film Festival.

The early buzz on The Beaver is actually very positive, with particular praise being sung for Gibson’s performance (it’s even been described as a career high for him). The fact that this is only Gibson’s second credited acting role in the last seven years (the first being in the 2010 revenge thriller Edge of Darkness) is certainly intriguing, and even more intriguing is the fact that he’s chosen such a self-deprecating role to showcase his acting talent – which is so rarely put on show these days.

Can the film do well at the box office, considering that Gibson’s recent antics put him on the public’s list of shame? I’d like to think that audiences could separate a film star’s on-screen performances from their real life (after all they are acting) but sadly that isn’t always the case.

As I said up top, The Beaver is one of the oddest films of the 2011 movie schedule but from the trailer and all the buzz surrounding the film I am very curious to see it. All today’s news means is that we’re going to have to wait a little longer than we thought before we can check it out.

The Beaver is now set to open in U.S. theaters on May 6, 2011 (limited), and will open to a wider release on May 20, 2011.

Source: Deadline