We haven’t seen Mel Gibson in a movie since his 2006 D.U.I. meltdown, but the part-time crazy-person has two projects lined up for 2010 that seem calculated for image and career rehabilitation. First up is January’s Edge of Darkness, a harmlessly familiar thriller that has “modest success” written all over it. Then there’s the more ambitious hand-puppet comedy The Beaver, in which Gibson plays a cracking-up CEO who communicates through a toy beaver. (And if you think that sounds amusing, wait till you see these photos!) If all goes according to plan, Gibson should be back on the A-list by Flag Day.
Only things are already not going according to plan. Yesterday, an anti-Gibson protest flared up outside the Ignacio Allende prison in Veracruz, Mexico, where Gibson is planning on directing another upcoming movie. The point of contention is Veracruz Governor Fidel Herrera’s claim that the prison would be partially emptied “because a grand production will be filmed there with our friend, the actor and producer Mel Gibson.” The protesters are upset because that could mean incarcerated loved ones would be transferred out of Veracruz, where “it would be harder to visit inmates or bring them food.” They even made highly specific signs, like “No transfers to make a movie.” First Jewish community leaders, now families of Veracruz convicts: Is Gibson consciously trying to diversify his list of enemies?