Last week I mentioned Joe Eszterhas’ letter to Mel Gibson accusing the actor-director of hating Jews after Warner Bros.’ shelved Gibson’s film about Judah Maccabee, based on a screenplay that Eszterhas delivered in February. Now The Wrap has gotten its hands on that script.
I’ve read it. And here’s what I can tell you: it’s exceedingly bloody, it’s hardly mainstream – and it is in every way a Jewish “Braveheart,” just as Eszterhas claimed.
On the face of it, this is a script that Mel Gibson should absolutely love: A band of pious underdogs take on an evil overlord. (They don’t paint their faces a la “Braveheart,” but the Jewish women are physically branded as harlots.)
It is full of throat-slitting and cutting off of heads. There are miles of heads on stakes. In one scene, a woman plunges a dagger into the eye of an opponent. Hearts are cut out of dead bodies.
And the fighting is full of Rambo-like relish.
Sharon Waxman suggests that maybe only the ADL is interested in seeing a Jewish Braveheart. Still, she says that doesn’t warrant Warner Bros. killing the film—and it’s bizarre that the studio made the decision without even providing notes on what was Eszterhas’ first draft.
(Hat tip: LA Observed)