Hollywood may not be able to handle hard times

April 29, 2008

Mel Gibson, who has kept a low profile since his drunken anti-Semitic outburst in July 2006, is set to headline his first feature film since 2002, Daily Variety reported on Tuesday.

The 52-year-old Hollywood actor has committed to play a police investigator in "Edge of Darkness," a thriller based on a 1985 BBC miniseries, the trade publication said.

Gibson's last feature starring roles were in the 2002 pair "Signs" and "We Were Soldiers." He went on to direct 2004's "The Passion of the Christ" and 2006's "Apocalypto."

The latter film came out shortly after Gibson was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving near his Malibu home. During the incident, he yelled to officers that Jews were "responsible for all the wars in the world." He apologized profusely soon after, met with Jewish leaders, and underwent treatment for alcoholism. He is also serving a three-year probation term.

Gibson will find himself on the other side of the law in "Edge of Darkness," playing a straitlaced cop who uncovers systemic corruption while investigating the death of his activist daughter, Daily Variety said.

It added that Gibson had long been a fan of the miniseries, and was receptive when producer Graham King and director Martin Campbell approached him several months ago. Shooting on the independently financed project begins in Boston in August.

The Boston setting proved a gold mine for King and "Edge" screenwriter William Monahan, who won Oscars for their work on the Martin Scorsese crime drama "The Departed." For his part, Campbell most recently revived the James Bond franchise with "Casino Royale."

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