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Gibson’s Viking Film To Be His Last Directorial Effort?

Written by on March 14, 2010 

What do you think of Mel Gibson as a director?

All in all, the man’s been pretty successful, with four well-made films to his name: The Man Without a Face, Braveheart, The Passion of the Christ and Apocalypto.

2010, though poised to be a year of career rebirth for Gibson after half a decade of PR recovery, got off to a shaky start with the lukewarm action-thriller Edge of Darkness. Yet despite Darkness‘s poor box office performance, Gibson’s got plenty of opportunities/months to make up for it.

Later this year, he’s starring in Jodie Foster The Beaver, adapted from Kyle Killen‘s Blacklisted screenplay, along with being announced to star in two separate, high-profile films (Shane Black’s Cold Warrior and Adrian Grunberg’s How I Spent My Summer Vacation) as well as direct an epic Viking drama starring Leonardo DiCaprio, written by William Monahan. [The Playlist]

Here’s what Gibson had to say about the Viking project (via L.A. Times):

“We’re going hammer and tongs on the script right now,” Gibson said. “When I was 16, learning about the history of the English language I became fascinated with Vikings. And I imagined what they would sound like, how would they talk and that’s what I will be going for in this film. It’s a challenge though. There’s never been a good Viking film, not that I’ve seen. I think I have found the right way to get into it, though, but I don’t want to say too much. The real problem is making those guys sympathetic. They were monsters.”

Here’s what producer Graham King had to say:

“You can’t just show a film that is battle scene after battle scene, you have to show heroism and sympathy,” King said. “This is not going to be a cheap movie to make by any stretch of the imagination. We’ve got to make it interesting to a worldwide audience. To me, the greatest thing about this is we don’t have a book or a familiar story – we had a couple of guys doing a month and a half of research on all of the different Viking stories that are out there. We had that research when we went in the room and we had Mel driving that train during the meeting. So we sat there five or six hours and then we had another meeting and it was the same thing. And after that we felt we had a sufficient enough story and material to go off and write the script for a movie.”

Will this really be Gibson’s last directorial effort? The actor said nothing about his acting career.

And as for never “seeing a good viking film,” I guess Gibson’s never seen Valhalla Rising.

And what about Thor?

King isn’t trying to make Thor: “We’re not making a comic book, this isn’t about superheroes,” King said with a hint of disdain. “Although I’m sure everyone in town would love us to. This movie will be quite serious and very much for grown-ups.”

Well, alright then.

Would you be disappointed if Gibson stopped directing films after his Viking epic?

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