Friday, April 12, 2024

Really True: Mel Gibson Reduced to Working as Art Director on Chinese Movie


You may have missed this story. I know I did when it broke on July 13th as a press release. You remember Mel Gibson? He won the Oscar for “Braveheart,” then destroyed his career by driving drunk, getting arrested, and hurling anti-Semitic and racist epithets. Around the same time other aspects of his life emerged that were unsavory and damaging.

After that, Mel appeared in “The Beaver” with a puppet on his hand, which few people saw. Also, “Get the Gringo.”

Now Gibson, reviled in Hollywood, has been reduced to working as art director and “creative producer” on a Chinese movie. The film is called “The Bombing,” and it’s directed by Xiao Feng, who has one other credit. Bruce Willis stars in an otherwise all-Chinese cast as an American pilot sent to China in World War II to teach pilots how to defend themselves against the Japanese.

This goes against Mel’s assertion to policeman James Mee during his DUI arrest that “the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.”

Gibson, who sold his Icon studios a few years ago, is said to have put money into the production and signed on as “art director.” This is supposed to be his “back door” back into the film business. It’s unclear if the plan will work.

Gibson’s cinematographer is 85 year old Vilmos Zsigmond, who made a name for himself in the 1970s with Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Long Goodbye, The Deer Hunter and the Rose. But then he shot Heaven’s Gate, one of Hollywood’s greatest flops. After that, Zsigmond made dozens of bad films including three in a row– Sliver, Bonfire of the Vanities, and The Two Jakes. All he’s missing from his resume is Ishtar.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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