New Delhi, June 17 (Calcutta Tube) After directing acclaimed period films like ‘Braveheart‘ and ‘The Passion of the Christ’, Hollywood heavyweight Mel Gibson confirms he will now wield the megaphone for a Viking movie with Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead and promises it will be as uncompromising as his other works.
‘Yes, it’s true that I am working on a Viking movie with Leonardo DiCaprio and producer Graham King. I love period stories and love to present them also,’ Gibson, 54, told IANS in an e-mail interview from Brownsville, Texas, where he is shooting ‘How I Spent My Summer Vacation’, his next film as an actor.
Asked if his newest directorial venture would also feature sparse period dialogues in a non-English language, he said: ‘I think about period languages, it’s going to be in English – the English that would have been spoken back in that specific period of time. For example, now whatever the ninth century had to offer, I’m going to give it to you real.’
The double Academy Award winner has been famously quoted as saying that he hopes to ‘transcend language barriers with filmic storytelling’.
Gibson, who made a comeback to acting after eight years with director Martin Campbell’s ‘Edge of Darkness’, will also be seen in ‘The Beaver’ directed by Jodie Foster. He was last seen in a full-fledged role in ‘The Singing Detective’ in 2003.
Asked what made him go into hibernation for eight years, he said: ‘I didn’t really get away from the industry… In the meanwhile, I learnt a lot about the industry. I learnt about writing. I learnt about conceiving (a project), from conception to writing to bringing that to the screen to sort of mounting a film to producing it to directing it.’
But did he miss acting all this while?
‘Yes, I sort of missed acting. I felt I’d like to try this again. I walked away from it after ‘Signs’ (2002) because I felt I was getting stale. It’s not that anything I did was horrific. But I needed a breather and see if I could come back and shed some bad habits and maybe sort of mature with some better ones,’ he said.
‘I got the acting bug back because I thought maybe after all these years I might have something to offer again and it coincided with a very good piece of material. This (‘Edge of Darkness’) was a compelling story with good elements attached,’ added Gibson, who has also done movies like the ‘Mad Max’ and the ‘Lethal Weapon’ series, ‘What Women Want’, ‘The Patriot’ and ‘The Million Dollar Hotel’ to name a few.
A big-screen adaptation of the BAFTA award-winning BBC mini-series, ‘Edge of Darkness’ was released in the US Jan 29 and it is being released in India by PVR Pictures in association with GK Films Production June 25.
Gibson plays Thomas Craven, a veteran homicide detective and a single father who ends up investigating his only daughter’s murder only to unravel an intersection of politics and big business behind it.
Gibson is positive about his film’s prospects at the Indian box office.
‘When I signed ‘Edge of Darkness’, I thought it will be very compelling and entertaining for audiences. And that’s what I am expecting now from this movie. Since it is an emotionally charged thriller, (Indian) audiences should be able to connect well with the movie and with my character,’ said the actor, who has ‘never been’ to India.
Gibson refused to answer any personal questions. His life has been under the harsh spotlight of the media for all the wrong reasons — like his affair with Russian pianist Oksana Grigorieva, who recently gave birth to their first child, and his drunken driving problems.
(Robin Bansal can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)