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Mel tongue-ties studios;'Apocalypto' to be filmed in obscure Mayan dialect (MEL GIBSON ALERT)
VARIETY ^ | July 25, 2005, | MICHAEL FLEMING

Posted on 07/25/2005 5:20:32 PM PDT by Liz


Gibson

When production chiefs from selected studios trooped to Icon Prods. headquarters after an invite to read the film Mel Gibson planned for summer 2006, they were surprised at the very first page of the script. "The dialogue you are about to read will not be spoken in English."

Gibson, who last made the most successful Aramaic-language film ever, is at it again.

"Apocalypto" hardly fits the traditional definition of a summer film. Set 500 years ago, pic will be filmed in an obscure Mayan dialect, presumably with the same kind of subtitles Gibson reluctantly added to "The Passion of the Christ." It will star a neophyte cast indigenous to the region of Mexico where Gibson will shoot in October. And it likely will carry an R rating, unless Gibson tempers the onscreen depiction of violent scenes he wrote in his script.

Since Gibson's bankrolling his pic and will sell foreign himself, studios were offered only a rent-a-system deal, such as George Lucas had with 20th Century Fox for his last three "Star Wars" films. And because "Apocalypto" is not a religious pic, there's no guarantee of an encore turnout of the church groups and hardcore Catholics who made "The Passion of the Christ" a nearly $1 billion box office/DVD bonanza.

'Passion' prediction

At least three studios passed on the project before Disney bought it. Nevertheless, the fact that more than one studio bid for the project shows Gibson's viability and makes laughable last year's prediction by the New York Times that Gibson would be blackballed by Jewish executives after the "Passion" controversy.

That charge never really had much traction, said sources within Gibson's agency, ICM. There was a post-"Passion" pile of scripts with $20 million-plus offers for Gibson's acting services. While that paper piled up on ICM co-prexy Ed Limato's desk, Gibson was accumulating pages of his own, scribbling "Apocalypto" in his office and becoming so passionate about it that he changed his plans to star in the Icon-produced drama "Under and Alone" for Warner Bros.

Even though studios including Paramount and Universal walked away from "Apocalypto" either for creative reasons or because Gibson's asking price of a high P&A commitment was too high, Disney's agreement to step up shows how much things have changed for Gibson since he struggled to get backing for "Braveheart." Gibson felt he was too old to play William Wallace, preferring to cast Jason Patric, but he was hard-pressed to raise coin even when he agreed to star.

Paramount wouldn't make "Braveheart" without a partner, and before Fox (which passed on "Passion") stepped up, Gibson had a demoralizing meeting with his longtime haunt Warner Bros., which wanted another "Lethal Weapon" as a condition of the deal. Gibson made "Braveheart" on a shoestring, won picture and director Oscars and made money for both Paramount and Fox.

Happy with Disney

Now content to bankroll his vision and armed with his own overseas distribution and sales company, Gibson no longer goes hat in hand. Sources said at least two studios wanted the pic, but Gibson liked Disney, where he has a good relationship with Dick Cook, chairman of the Walt Disney Studios. For its part, Disney agreed to Gibson's tough deal terms.

Already, there is talk that Disney will program "Apocalypto" against the Warner Bros. film "Lady in the Water," which just happens to be the first M. Night Shyamalan-directed film Disney hasn't financed since the filmmaker's breakthrough, "The Sixth Sense."

For his part, Cook said he was confident "Apocalypto" fits the summer bill.

"We couldn't be more excited about working again with Mel and his team," said Cook. "This is one of the most original and unique scripts we've had the opportunity to read recently, and we plan for this to be an anchor of our summer schedule."


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: apocalypto; ethnicpander; melgibson; movies; thepassion
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1 posted on 07/25/2005 5:20:33 PM PDT by Liz
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To: Liz

Uh, seriesly?


2 posted on 07/25/2005 5:21:54 PM PDT by Petronski (I love Cyborg!)
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To: Liz

Is Mel going to do a remake of "Braveheart" in Gaelic?


3 posted on 07/25/2005 5:22:11 PM PDT by Alouette (Jews don't expel Jews -- Americans don't appease terrorists.)
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To: Petronski

Looks like it.


4 posted on 07/25/2005 5:23:42 PM PDT by Liz (You may not be interested in politics; doesn't mean politics isn't interested in you. Pericles)
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To: Liz

tears your heart out, don't it?


5 posted on 07/25/2005 5:23:50 PM PDT by pipecorp (Let's have a CRUSADE! , the muslim half has already started. ps. I need more cowbell!)
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To: Liz

good for him .. they'll be breaking down his door for something they don't understand ...


6 posted on 07/25/2005 5:23:57 PM PDT by InvisibleChurch (Mr. Chambers! Don't get on that ship! The rest of the book, "To Serve Man", it's... it's a cookbook!)
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To: Liz

I have to ask...

why?


7 posted on 07/25/2005 5:25:30 PM PDT by sharktrager (My life is like a box of chocolates, but someone took all the good ones.)
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To: Liz

Mel obviously isn't going to end Hollywood's slump.

::golf clap::


8 posted on 07/25/2005 5:27:55 PM PDT by Reform4Bush
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To: sharktrager

We'll have to reserve judgement until the film gets underway.


9 posted on 07/25/2005 5:28:04 PM PDT by Liz (You may not be interested in politics; doesn't mean politics isn't interested in you. Pericles)
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To: Petronski
Not according to his IMDb entry, but it seems to be all over the 'net.
10 posted on 07/25/2005 5:28:06 PM PDT by AmishDude (Join the Amishdude fan club: "LOL, you have a great sense of humor." -- msmagoo54)
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To: Alouette

No, he's going to do "Lethal Weapon II" in Ebonics.

Yo buss dis. Dey F YOU at de roll-dru? Dey F YOU at de roll-dru! Youse gonna be miles away befo ya' fin' out ya' digs f'ed, fo shizzle! Dey noed you ain't gonna cut round, dey ain't care. So who f'ed? Ol' Leo Getz! I'z not eatin dis tuna, sheeit!


11 posted on 07/25/2005 5:29:41 PM PDT by LibertarianInExile (Kelo, Grutter, and Roe all have to go. Will Roberts get us there--don't know. No more Souters.)
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To: Reform4Bush; Liz

Does anyone know what the movie is about?


12 posted on 07/25/2005 5:45:57 PM PDT by Perdogg
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To: Perdogg

Sounds like an "X-Men" enemy. Or a "Justice League" super-criminal.


13 posted on 07/25/2005 5:47:42 PM PDT by Shazbot29 (If you paid attention you'd be worried, too!)
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To: Liz
Apocalypto or, Once Upon A Time In Aztlán
14 posted on 07/25/2005 5:48:14 PM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: Liz

At least it's not the semaphore version :)


15 posted on 07/25/2005 5:49:23 PM PDT by mewzilla (Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist. John Adams)
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To: LibertarianInExile
he's going to do "Lethal Weapon II" in Ebonics.

The old Leslie Nielsson movie "Airplane" had a scene in Ebonics, with English subtitles.

16 posted on 07/25/2005 5:49:31 PM PDT by Alouette (Jews don't expel Jews -- Americans don't appease terrorists.)
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To: Liz
church groups and hardcore Catholics who made "The Passion of the Christ"

FTR, I saw it the weekend it opened (and that was the most recent movie I've seen in a movie theater). I'm Jewish.

ML/NJ

17 posted on 07/25/2005 5:50:54 PM PDT by ml/nj
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To: Liz

Is this a conquistador movie?


18 posted on 07/25/2005 5:51:34 PM PDT by July20
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To: Shazbot29
It sounds like a prequel to the exorcist where el diablo himself is unleased and spreads evil around the world.
19 posted on 07/25/2005 5:57:31 PM PDT by Perdogg
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To: Liz
will star a neophyte cast

A cast of barely legal teen girls?

20 posted on 07/25/2005 5:57:34 PM PDT by DainBramage
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To: Liz

2012 baby


21 posted on 07/25/2005 5:59:38 PM PDT by dennisw ( G_d - ---> Against Amelek for all generations)
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To: Liz

Filming in dead languages worked for "The Passion" because there was a built-in audience already interested in the subject, and willing to tolerate anything that would give the presentation of Jesus more authenticity.

That special kind of audience won't be there for this film. If actually made in Mayan I suspect this film will turn out to be a major bomb.


22 posted on 07/25/2005 6:03:58 PM PDT by SpringheelJack
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To: Perdogg
It sounds like a prequel to the exorcist where el diablo himself is unleased and spreads evil around the world.

Already been done. Here at FR its known as the Clinton Administration

23 posted on 07/25/2005 6:05:46 PM PDT by leadhead (Momma don't let your babies grow up to be Dumborats)
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To: mewzilla

Oh! Oh! Heathcliffe! :o)


24 posted on 07/25/2005 6:07:47 PM PDT by Theophilus (Save Little Democrats, Stop Abortion)
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To: leadhead

good one!


25 posted on 07/25/2005 6:08:27 PM PDT by Perdogg
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To: dennisw

"2012 baby"

Oh, Brother. When did my husband start posting here? LOL! He gives me constant updates on his "End of the World" scenario, based on the Mayan Calendar...and he's a Swede!

I sure hope he's wrong; if not, I've made my peace. ;)


26 posted on 07/25/2005 6:08:46 PM PDT by Diana in Wisconsin (Save The Earth. It's The Only Planet With Chocolate.)
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To: SpringheelJack

Yeah, just like that "Dances with Wolves" movie, where they spoke Lakota.


27 posted on 07/25/2005 6:13:34 PM PDT by wizr (Freedom ain't free.)
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To: Liz

What is rent-a-system and P&A? Does anyone know?


28 posted on 07/25/2005 6:14:35 PM PDT by Zack Nguyen
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To: Liz
"Apocalypto" hardly fits the traditional definition of a summer film. Set 500 years ago, pic will be filmed in an obscure Mayan dialect, ... It will star a neophyte cast indigenous to the region of Mexico ... And it likely will carry an R rating, unless Gibson tempers the onscreen depiction of violent scenes he wrote in his script.

This could be very interesting.

A cast "native to the region" in a "Mayan dialect" with "onscreen depiction of violent scenes." Could this be the answer both to the critics of the violence in Passion of the Christ and to the Azatlan fanatics pushing bizarre fantasies about who "owns" the northern parts of Mexico and the western parts of the United States? (FYI, Aztec and Mayan cultures never spread farther north than about 50 miles north of what is now Mexico City and did not spread coast to coast in Mexico, therefore the fantasy of Azatlan being some sort of Mexican "homeland" is offensive, particularly to nations that do have a heritage based claim to those lands, like the Hopi, Navajo, Pueblo,Western Apache,and Zuni - they killed Mayans and Aztecs for fun...)

Show the "peace loving nature loving native culture" of the Mayans and Aztecs for the bloodthirsty, brutal and grotesque thugs that they were, particularly if you can convey just how tiny their actual holdings were, and you might just reshape the landscape of multiculturism in the southwestern US.

Add to that the knee jerk reaction of most PC critics to defend or even celebrate violence committed by "indegenous peoples" as culturally protected, imune from moral judgement, and Gibson may just put his critics into an unbearable position.

And "Apocalypto" is a Greek term meaning "an unveiling" or "new beginning."

I think Mel may have been misunderestimated.

29 posted on 07/25/2005 6:15:11 PM PDT by Phsstpok (There are lies, damned lies, statistics and presentation graphics, in descending order of truth)
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To: Liz

Is Mel still thinking about making a film about the Maccabean revolt? Why can't he do that instead of this obscure-sounding subject?


30 posted on 07/25/2005 6:15:59 PM PDT by Cecily
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To: Alouette

Nope, that was JIVE. Completely different.

Attendant: Can I get you something?
Jiveman #2: S'mo fo butter layin' to the bone. Jackin' me up. Tightly.
Attendant: I'm sorry, I don't understand.
Jiveman #1: Cutty say he can't hang.
Barbara Billingsley: Oh, stewardess, I speak jive.
Attendant: Ohhhh, good.
Barbara Billingsley: He said that he's in great pain and he wants to know if you can help him.
Attendant: Would you tell him to just relax and I'll be back as soon as I can with some medicine.
Barbara Billingsley: Jus' hang loose blooood. She goonna catch up on the`rebound a de medcide.
Jiveman #2: What it is big mamma, my mamma didn't raise no dummy, I dug her rap.
Barbara Billingsley: Cut me some slack, jack! Chump don wan no help, chump don git no help. Jive ass dude don't got no brains anyhow.


31 posted on 07/25/2005 6:18:09 PM PDT by LibertarianInExile (Kelo, Grutter, and Roe all have to go. Will Roberts get us there--don't know. No more Souters.)
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To: Liz
Already, there is talk that Disney will program "Apocalypto" against the Warner Bros. film "Lady in the Water," which just happens to be the first M. Night Shyamalan-directed film Disney hasn't financed since the filmmaker's breakthrough, "The Sixth Sense."

Smart move , Disney.

IMHO the only M. Night film even close to being watchable was Signs. And that one was so-so.
The rest...yawn.

32 posted on 07/25/2005 6:19:47 PM PDT by Vinnie
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To: Liz

Why doesn't Gibson do a 9/11 movie, for God's sake?


33 posted on 07/25/2005 6:21:02 PM PDT by Packer Pete
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To: DainBramage
"A cast of barely legal teen girls?"


34 posted on 07/25/2005 6:22:16 PM PDT by LibertarianInExile (Kelo, Grutter, and Roe all have to go. Will Roberts get us there--don't know. No more Souters.)
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"The dialogue you are about to read will not be spoken in English."

What a rip.

You might think that those who fell for it the last time... nahhh.

35 posted on 07/25/2005 6:24:13 PM PDT by humblegunner (If you're gonna die, die with your boots on.)
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To: LibertarianInExile
FYI: The Ebonics Translator
36 posted on 07/25/2005 6:27:10 PM PDT by upchuck ("If our nation be destroyed, it would be from the judiciary." ~ Thomas Jefferson)
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To: pipecorp

funny.. heh!


37 posted on 07/25/2005 6:27:40 PM PDT by steveo (Member: Fathers Against Rude Television)
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To: Liz

Those who love him simply call him ~eccentric~


38 posted on 07/25/2005 6:27:52 PM PDT by HairOfTheDog
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To: sharktrager

I have to respond: "Why not?"


39 posted on 07/25/2005 6:28:08 PM PDT by cubreporter (I trust Rush. He has done more for this country than any of us will ever know! :))
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To: cubreporter

Honestly?

I think it reaches a point where the artist is not considering his audience.


40 posted on 07/25/2005 6:30:03 PM PDT by sharktrager (My life is like a box of chocolates, but someone took all the good ones.)
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To: Cecily
Is Mel still thinking about making a film about the Maccabean revolt?

I think Mel may have been a little flakey right after the Passion. There have been several reported projects that Mel was supposedly going to do following The Passion.

Film about Britain's warrior queen Boudicca

Film about a Jesuit Martyr

Mel Gibson to film Pope John Paul II biopic

41 posted on 07/25/2005 6:43:23 PM PDT by rmmcdaniell
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To: Alouette
The old Leslie Nielsson movie "Airplane" had a scene in Ebonics, with English subtitles.

Which they changed to be PC. The original had Barbara Billingsly (Mrs Cleaver) saying:

"N*gga don' wan' no hep', N*gga don't ge' no hep'"

On the DVD, it is:

"Sucka don' wan' no hep', Sucka don't ge' no hep'"

The idea of Mrs. Cleaver using the N-word is what gave the oomph to the scene! They ruined it!

42 posted on 07/25/2005 6:43:39 PM PDT by Shazbot29 (If you paid attention you'd be worried, too!)
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To: Liz

Mel Gibson should do Victor Hugo's "Ninety-three."


43 posted on 07/25/2005 6:44:29 PM PDT by Dante3
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To: July20
Is this a conquistador movie?

That's the first thought I had. Cool subject, only hope he tells it straight, giving both sides their due. Might be a great film.

44 posted on 07/25/2005 6:49:38 PM PDT by Textide
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To: Dante3

Mel Gibson should do Ayn Rand's "Anthem".


45 posted on 07/25/2005 6:53:04 PM PDT by 6SJ7
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To: Shazbot29
Sheeeeeihh!

(Subtitled: "Golly!")

46 posted on 07/25/2005 6:53:09 PM PDT by Erasmus ("The best-laid men gang oft a-gley." --Robt. Burns)
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To: July20
If this is about Mayan religious practices, I challenge him to do his own stunts!
47 posted on 07/25/2005 7:01:49 PM PDT by Ukiapah Heep (Shoes for Industry!)
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To: mewzilla

I think it would be better in Aldus Lamp


48 posted on 07/25/2005 7:16:29 PM PDT by bagman (We're all Britons now!)
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To: wizr
Yeah, just like that "Dances with Wolves" movie, where they spoke Lakota.

Only in part of the movie. Nor is a western with soldiers and Indians quite so esoteric as an ancient Mayan war flick.

49 posted on 07/25/2005 7:21:54 PM PDT by SpringheelJack
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To: Textide

I thought the Mayan civilization died off long before the Spanish arrived. Perhaps this is about that mysterious extinction of their culture.


50 posted on 07/25/2005 7:29:41 PM PDT by xp38
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