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trend spotting

Mel Gibson Starts a Trend That’s Not Profanity-Laden

We don’t want to alarm Jodie Foster, still reeling as she is from the revelation that there are some people in Hollywood who don’t like Mel Gibson, but if her long-delayed The Beaver doesn’t make it to theaters relatively soon, it’s no longer going to have a corner on the “movie about a troubled man who speaks to his adorable animal friend" market. In The Beaver, Mel Gibson plays a sad man who starts talking to a hand puppet, a plot so singular and unique that … there are now two projects in the works that sound a lot like it! Just yesterday FX ordered thirteen episodes of Wilfred, about a man who talks to his dog, who is played by a guy in a dog suit, and Seth MacFarlane announced that he’d cast Mark Wahlberg in his directorial debut, Ted, as a guy whose best friend is his walking, talking childhood teddy bear. Movies with similar plots have congregated around release dates in the past, but those plots usually involve some big, general action-movie device like meteors or volcanoes, not something as specific and weird as foul-mouthed imaginary friends. We have questions: Does this mean Steven Spielberg's going to start working on his Harvey remake again? Did Seth MacFarlane love his Teddy Ruxpin growing up? And what's making this such a popular idea right now? Other, than, of course, that Mel Gibson is forbidden from catching a break ever again.

Photo: Ray Tamarra/Getty Images