Mel Gibson has only directed four movies -- The Man Without a Face, Braveheart, The Passion of the Christ and Apocalypto -- but he's got at least one more to give us before he apparently caps the camera lens for good.
In a profile on this next project, the Los Angeles Times' Hero Complex snagged a quote from the Oscar-winning filmmaker that implies the untitled Viking epic Gibson is helming with Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead role will be his last as a director.
You may recall the project, which was announced back in December. The Departed's Oscar-winning screenwriter, William Monahan, and the same film's producer, Graham King, are collaborating with Gibson on the Viking film. The trio also recently worked together on the Martin Campbell-directed Edge of Darkness. And while they could all make another movie together, it apparently won't have Gibson at the helm.
Gibson's quote to Hero Complex regarding the Viking project:
“It was the first movie I ever thought about making...I saw it in my mind back when I was teenager. Seriously, it’s the first movie I wanted to make. And I think it will be the last film I direct. It’s the thing I have been going toward, in a way, since I was young, and I think when it’s done I may be finished."
You could get the sense Gibson is talking about being finished with movies completely, though it's likely he's not talking about his acting career, which has started to pick up lately in spite of his infamous controversy involving alcohol and anti-Semitic statements.
Of course, people who will never forgive the Lethal Weapon star for that scandal would like to see him disappear completely, maybe even have his entire oeuvre erased -- or, appropriate to this news, all prints and copies of his films burned in a Viking funeral send-off to mark the literal death of his career.
In a way, this Viking film Gibson is working on is relative to his own difficulty regaining public favor. Gibson recognizes that it's tough to make the Norse warriors sympathetic because they were "monsters." He notes that there has never been a good Viking movie, at least not that he's seen. Guess he's not a big fan of either the 1958 classic The Vikings, starring Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis, or Terry Jones' silly Monty Python spawn Erik the Viking, featuring Tim Robbins in the title role.
For more of Gibson's interview, you'll have to head over to Hero Complex.
From the way Gibson and King speak of this passion project, I can't be more excited about it. Like Gibson, I studied Vikings at a young age and became fascinated by them. Even my interest in Marvel's Thor comic was based on that early in Norse legends and mythology.
And while I haven't had a lot of interest in Gibson's last two directorial efforts, this Viking project will bring the filmmaker closer to Braveheart territory (you can look at my last name and guess why I might be a fan of THAT movie).
Going out on a limb, I'll say that despite all those people who hate Gibson now, his next film will surely be the most successful Viking movie yet -- and at least until someone finally makes a live-action/CG-animation hybrid adaptation of Hagar the Horrible.
We'll keep you updated on the production schedule (and title) of Mel's Viking movie.
Source: Hero Complex