It wasn’t long ago when no one in Hollywood would give Mel Gibson the time of day. Now suddenly, he’s one of the town’s most sought-after directors, especially by Warner Bros., who want him to take over Suicide Squad 2.
Although no deal is in place, the studio and the actor-turned-director have been in serious talks, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Bringing in Gibson is a risky move. Not only has he never directed a superhero film (even if it is with super-antiheroes), but not everyone has forgotten why Gibson has been shunned in recent years. And it stems from an arrest in July 2006 when he was arrested for driving under the influence, and reportedly made anti-semitic remarks to the arresting officer, who was Jewish.
Gibson apologized, both through his publicist, and in a televised interview. Yet, no one wanted to work with him – even with later support like Robert Downey Jr. and Jodie Foster pushing for forgiveness.
Hacksaw Ridge changed that. The film, based on the real story of Desmond T. Doss – a U.S. Army medic during World War II, and the first to win the Medal of Honor without firing a shot – was a critical success that earned not only a respectable $156.1 million at the box office, but an Oscar nomination for Gibson.
Gibson already is a two-time Oscar winner, both for directing and executive producing Braveheart in 1995, a film made in the midst of a much different controversy at the time – this one directed at the gay and lesbian community.
All of that seems to be in the past now, at least for Warner Bros., who want him to lead the followup to their 2016 DC Comics film that earned $746.1 million last year.
If things don’t work out with Gibson, the studio has a backup in mind – Daniel Espinosa, who directed Safe House in 2012 to a $208.5 million box office run.
Gibson took a break from directing after Braveheart until his self-funded The Passion of the Christ debuted in 2004. After that, he took on Apocalypto in 2006, only to take a break following his drunken driving arrest.
Suicide Squad starred Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie and Joel Kinnaman. Writer and director David Ayer is now working on a spin-off film starring Robbie called Gotham City Sirens.
Warner Bros. has eyed a 2019 release for Suicide Squad 2.
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