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Mel Gibson Still Working On Viking Epic ‘Berserker,’ Now With ‘Braveheart’ Writer Randall Wallace

Written by on February 7, 2012 

After his dramatic effort The Beaver failed at the box office last year, Mel Gibson is slowly stepping back into the Hollywood spotlight. We highlighted his action flick Get the Gringo last week with a new trailer and now we have an update on a few of his bigger projects. Gibson took the stage after a Mad Max screening at the American Cinematheque and thanks to L.A. Times (via The Playlist‘s transcription), we have some development news below.

First up is his confirmation that his Viking film, last reported on about two years ago, is still being worked on. But William Monahan, Graham King and Leonardo DiCaprio are gone. He stated he just received a second draft of the script for the film, now working with Braveheart writer Randall Wallace. Titled Berserker, Gibson said the Viking film will feature “bad,” “very unsympathetic characters.” He continued, saying he wanted to craft “real and visceral,” unlike the stereotypical Vikings with horns on their head and “not running around like the ’50s,” taking a stab at Richard Fleischer‘s film The Viking starring Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis.

Gibson also spoke about his Jewish warrior film, which was revealed last fall. He confirmed working with Basic Instinct and Showgirls screenwriter Joe Eszterhas and stated, “that’s from the last two books of the Old Testament, which is like; [turns to audience] just read it some time. Maccabee 1 and 2. Just read it, it’s like a Western. It’s an amazing story. It’s heroic beyond belief. The entire might of the Seleucid Empire, which was Persia, their whole objective at the time was to wipe Judea off the map and they almost did it except for this little hold out that miraculously grew and wanted it all back again.”

Considering I’m in the minority on Gibson’s directorial output, my anticipation for the above projects is quite low. But it sounds like he has gained some passion again for heading back to what he is praised for. After the dull Edge of Darkness and The Beaver, I’d rather see him focus on something he is excited about. As for the new Mad Max, Gibson approves of Tom Hardy, saying,” I like that kid [George’s] got, Tom Hardy. He’s a very interesting actor. He reminds me of one my sons a bit but I had lunch with him, he’s a firecracker. It’ll be good.”

Which Gibson project are you looking forward to? Are you interested in seeing him back in the director’s chair?

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