"He was asked to write the screenplay for a Mel Gibson film about the Maccabees. Then, he said, things went crazy. His new book, Heaven and Mel, is available now on Kindle. In a Daily Beast exclusive, the screenwriter explains why he wrote his explosive new tell-all—and why he’s now seeking police protection."
Evidently there is a Gibson problem, and it ain't getting better with age. But Joe Esterhaz has his own huge issues, which revolve around finding a daily reason to keep off the sauce. He ain't the one to be telling on Gibston, IMO.
But one thing I do buy for what it appears to be. Gibson's antiSemitism. It's apparently for real, and like the historical artifact it damages the one indulging in it as much or more than it does the ostensible target. Whether that's God watching out for his own or the simple fact that when you point the finger, you've got three more pointing back at you -- I'll leave for the reader to decide.
From the LA Times:
"Maybe. But if Gibson is as awful and vitriolic as he’s portrayed in the book, why didn’t Eszterhas walk away? How could Eszterhas possibly occupy the high moral ground if he was willing to expose Gibson only after the studio rejected his script? After all, Eszterhas says he was paid $300,000 for the first draft. Was it about the money?
“Not at all,” Eszterhas said. “I convinced myself that I could write a script that was so powerful that either Mel would decide to do it because it was so cinematic or that the top Warners executives, who were Jewish, would love the story and convince Mel to do it. It wasn’t about the money. I desperately wanted to do this, both because of my father and my faith. My God wanted me to do this. I would’ve done it for $25,000.”
It’s hard not to recoil from the idea of Eszterhas willingly working with a man he accuses of such hate-filled behavior. Yet the screenwriter’s pairing with Gibson makes more sense if you consider what kind of drama Eszterhas is drawn to.
In “What Happens Next,” Marc Norman’s terrific history of American screenwriters, Norman cannily notes that, over and over, from “Basic Instinct” to “Jade” and “Sliver,” Eszterhas’ films focus on one central theme: a person who falls in love with someone who turns out to be a maniacal wack-job.
In “Heaven and Mel,” you realize that Eszterhas is simply telling his favorite story one more time."
Has anyone downloaded the book? I'd be interested if it had details about the script development, but I don't really need to know more about Gibson's rants....