Mel Gibson’s putrid rants did not phase ex wife Robyn Moore Gibson but foreign film industry insiders are skeptical about his ability to make a comeback. He was already in a red zone following his 2006 arrest for drunk driving and his anti-Semitic rants but with the latest rant against ex girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva, it may all be too much for even Australians to handle. The New York Times:
James Ulmer, who for years has ranked actors’ value, with a close eye on foreign markets, through the his Ulmer Scale, said he was hearing much the same from buyers in Europe and the Middle East.
“I was surprised at how much of an emotional impact this has had on the Europeans,” Mr. Ulmer said.
Fallout from Mr. Gibson’s anti-Semitic outburst in 2006, which followed his arrest for drunken driving, had already marked the actor as a risky prospect for foreign buyers. The soft performance of “Edge of Darkness,” which took in only about $37 million in foreign theaters after its release in January, increased skepticism about his bankability.
Now, Mr. Ulmer said, foreign distributors are “starting to think he may just be too hot to handle.”
I don’t know if I am that bearish on Mr. Gibson’s chances of a comeback. I think there are people out there who would still see a Mel Gibson movie if it’s good. I would totally go see a movie of his, notwithstanding how gross he was on that tape. And I’m a Black person. But I don’t really get that bent out of shape just cause a fool says the word “nigger.” That word means nothing to me and has absolutely no power. It says more about the person saying it than it does about anything else and if someone directs that at me, I just think “wow, you must be feeling a little upset, why don’t you have a cookie or something and try to feel better and less hateful towards me, since, you don’t even know me.” But a lot of people still get bent out of shape over this stuff, and I understand that too. I don’t trivialize other people’s feelings. But I would see Mel’s movies after this, if I wanted to, if it made sense at the time. I think in time, he’ll be just as bankable, if not more so. I am not the only one apparently, who feels this way. Again, the New York Times:
Oddly, some American film sales executives appear to take a brighter view of Mr. Gibson’s prospects than their European counterparts, perhaps because he has already been operating outside of conventional studio circles, so has little to fear from banishment. (Summit Entertainment has not decided how or when it will release “The Beaver,” starring Mr. Gibson as a man who walks around with a puppet on his hand and treats it like a living creature. The film, directed by Jodie Foster, is in post production.)
“I think he’s still a huge movie star,” said Andrew Herwitz, president of the Film Sales Company, which helps to sell film rights in the United States and abroad.
Mr. Herwitz, who said he was not handling the current Gibson films, predicted that Mr. Gibson’s work would prevail over his “bad boy” image, though it might take some time for the shock over his behavior to fade.