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Mel Gibson Slams Joe Eszterhas’ Anti-Semitism Accusations; The Maccabees in Limbo

Mel Gibson Slams Joe Eszterhas' Anti-Semitism Accusations; The Maccabees in Limbo

 

It turns out Mel  Gibson‘s movie about biblical Jewish hero Judah Maccabee has hit a  bit of a snag.

“You hate Jews,” Basic Instinct and Showgirls scribe Joe Eszterhas, tasked with writing the since-rejected  screenplay for Gibson’s latest passion project, accuses the  reputation-challenged star in a memo obtained by the Wrap.

In the nine-page letter, Eszterhas states that Gibson pitched the The Maccabees solely “to deflect continuing charges of anti-Semitism  which have dogged [him], charges which have crippled [his] career,” and then  made anti-Semitic remarks throughout the writing process.

Not surprisingly, Gibson fired back just hours later, calling Eszterhas’  claims “utter fabrications.”

 “I will acknowledge like most creative people I am passionate and intense,”  Gibson replies in a letter obtained by E! News. “I was very frustrated that when  you arrived at my home at the expense of both Warner Brothers and myself you  hadn’t written a single word of a script or even an outline after 15 months of  research, meetings, discussions and the outpouring of my heartfelt vision for  this story. I did react more strongly than I should have. I promptly sent you a  written apology, the colorful words of which you apparently now find offensive.  Let me now clearly apologize to you and your family in the simplest of  terms.”

In his letter, Eszterhas (who is Jewish) claimed that Gibson continually  referred to Jews in front of him as “Hebes,” “oven-dodgers” and “Jewboys”;  called the Holocaust “mostly a lot of horses–t”; and said his intention with The Maccabees—a controversy magnet the moment it was announced—was “to  convert the Jews to Christianity.”

Gibson, who wrote that he refused to address Eszterhas’ missive line-by-line,  also wrote: “Contrary to your assertion that I was only developing Maccabees to burnish my tarnished reputation, I have been working on  this project for over 10 years and it was publicly announced 8 years ago. I  absolutely want to make this movie; it’s just that neither Warner Brothers nor I  want to make this movie based on your script.”

The actor-director maintained that both he and the studio were “extremely  disappointed” with Eszterhas’ draft—which Eszterhas claims he spent two years  researching and writing.

The writer, who also penned the war-crimes trial drama The Music  Box, is asking Gibson to return his script, which could be shopped  elsewhere since Warner Bros. rejected it.

But all is not lost.

“We are analyzing what to do with the project,” a studio rep tells E!  News.

 

 

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