Mel Gibson has seemed like a heartthrob, a badass, a comedian, an auteur, a zealot, a maniac and a drunk, and he’s always been a bit of an enigma. He’s in the process of developing his next directorial effort – a viking epic starring Leonardo DiCaprio – and he’s adding to that aura of uncertainty around himself by hinting that this might be the last movie he ever directs.
“It was the first movie I ever thought about making,” Gibson said in the LA Times. “I saw it in my mind back when I was teenager. Seriously, it’s the first movie I wanted to make. And I think it will be the last film I direct. It’s the thing I have been going toward, in a way, since I was young, and I think when it’s done I may be finished.”
He doesn’t really need to do any more work after the self-financed The Passion of the Christ made him zillions, Braveheart gave him Oscars and Apocalypto gave him… well, Apocalypto, but there’s also a chance this is a bit of a publicity gambit after the less-than-stellar opening of Edge of Darkness. Or, it really could be the idea that his cinematic ambition would be coming full-circle.
“When I was 16, learning about the history of the English language I became fascinated with Vikings,” he explains. “And I imagined what they would sound like, how would they talk and that’s what I will be going for in this film. It’s a challenge though. There’s never been a good Viking film, not that I’ve seen. I think I have found the right way to get into it, though, but I don’t want to say too much. The real problem is making those guys sympathetic. They were monsters.”
Let’s not speculate on why Gibson would have a lifelong fascination with monsters who are hard to make sympathetic.