Mel Gibson has not had an easy go of it since dropping the massively successful Crucifixion film The Passion of the Christ in theaters to the tune of a $611 million worldwide gross (on a $30 million budget).
While that seems like it shouldn’t be the impetus for a huge downfall — and perhaps it wasn’t — the former Mad Max’s career since then has been anything but stellar.
As Business Insider recently pointed out, Mel Gibson has only starred in six films since 2006 — Passion was in 2004 — and none of them had major Hollywood backers.
His latest, Blood Father, is no exception.
Cannes Film Review: Mel Gibson in ‘Blood Father’ https://t.co/RpiJrl7clA
— Variety (@Variety) May 22, 2016
Iron Man 3 director and former Mel Gibson collaborator Shane Black (Lethal Weapon) recently explained why that is, stating that Gibson has essentially been “blacklisted” in Hollywood because “I think people don’t want to work with him,” he said.
That could be due to his widely publicized 2007 outburst, when he was caught and charged by police with DUI. During that incident, he was recorded saying, “F***ing Jews… the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.”
Considering that The Passion of the Christ painted a pretty negative picture of Jewish religious leaders, it was not hard for the media to make those two connections and paint Mel Gibson as an antisemite.
And Hollywood is pretty consistent about shunning individuals with overt racist tendencies.
Still, Black believes that it’s unfair to judge Mel for something he said while in an inebriated state. As someone with past substance abuse issues himself, Black said the following.
“I’ve always been a tremendous fan of Mel Gibson, not just as an actor, but I think he’s a good guy. I just don’t believe in holding anyone accountable for something that they say while they’re drunk because if I’m drunk I’m going to be deliberately belligerent, first off. I’m going to say something that I know will piss you off and will delight in the fact that I’m destroying the house and burning it down. That’s what drunk people do. So the idea that that’s truly who a person is when he’s had a few, I don’t believe that at all. I just think that’s wrong. I know a lot of great people and they are not necessarily great when they’re drunk. So I don’t trust that.”
Gibson is not without his share of highly-placed “fans” and “friends.” Robert Downey, Jr. and Gibson have a long-storied friendship. Mel was reportedly one of the people who stuck by the “Iron Man” through his dark substance abuse issues and helped him break back into the mainstream.
Downey has never forgotten that and he reportedly told Black that he would like to see Mel Gibson as the director of a future Iron Man film.
— str_thry (@StrThry) May 22, 2016
And when Tony Stark himself, one of the most highly-paid actors in Hollywood and the very definition of the term “A-List,” is for you, who can be against you?
While it may be quite some time before fans get a taste of a Mel Gibson-directed Iron Man movie, it is likely that it could happen should Downey go to bat for him in a more emphatic way.
But, the question remains: Would Mel want any part of it?
His take from The Passion of the Christ alone would be enough to keep most filmmakers fat-and-happy for the rest of their lives, and this is a guy who also starred in Mad Max, Lethal Weapon, and a whole slew of huge money-makers throughout the 1980s and ’90s. His need to direct Iron Man X would be more about restoring reputation, boosting legacy, and mending fences with Hollywood than anything else.
What do you think, readers?
Is a Mel Gibson Iron Man film something to be excited about? Sound off in the comments section below.
[Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images]