Mel Gibson’s dissertation on Jewish history will remain brief, it seems, as Warner Bros. has decided to shelve the director’s proposed film about Judah Maccabee—the original Jew responsible for all the wars (that led to Hanukkah). When the project was first announced, of course, many Jewish groups expressed reservations about allowing Mel Gibson to tell the story of one of Judaism’s most famous figures, despite the noted Jewish love of irony. And while Gibson continued to develop the film anyway, convinced that such qualms would be assuaged as soon as everyone saw how many slow-motion sword fights, torture scenes, and shirtless yelling guys he put in there, apparently the studio finally began having reservations of its own. According to Warner production president Greg Silverman, the final decision came after reading the finished script from Joe Eszterhas, upon which they decided that it lacked the “feeling” and “sense of triumph” one might expect from a Jewish-themed war movie by Mel Gibson and the guy who wrote Showgirls. The studio is now “analyzing what to do with the project,” no doubt using a very sophisticated set of analytical techniques such as typing the words “Mel Gibson” and “Jew” into Google.
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