Warner Bros. has rejected Mel Gibson’s movie about the biblical figure Judah Maccabee.
The Maccabee story is based on how Judah worked with his father and four brothers to lead the Jewish revolt against the Greek-Syrian military which had conquered Judea in the second century B.C. Hanukkah is directly tied to the revolt’s victory.
The studio has not yet decided whether to move forward with more development or to pull the plug. Representatives for Warners claim the project is still alive but has to go through more evaluations.
After the script was turned down, Joe Eszterhas strangely released a scathing memo to Mel Gibson accusing him of being an anti-Semite. The writer claimed that Gibson uttered salacious, and anti-Semitic statements while they worked together on the Maccabee script.
Last year, the Anti-Defamation League condemned the project, saying that Gibson – whose career has been darkened by reported anti-Semetic remarks – isn’t the right person to make a film about Maccabee.
One would wonder if Mel Gibson’s past, along with the pressures from different Jewish organizations, had anything to do with the denial of the script? Reps for the actor did not comment at press time.