Would you trust the story of Chanukah to this man?
Joe Eszterhaus at one time Hollywood's highest paid screenwriter, with credits on Basic Instinct, Jagged Edge and Flashdance, reportedly intends to collaborate with Mel Gibson, who in 2006 drunkenly slurred that Jews were “responsible for all the wars in the world,” to tell the tale of Judah Maccabee.
The drama tentatively titled Dirty Chanukah Harry, would be written by Eszterhas and likely only produced by Gibson (who has yet to say if he wants to act in the film) and distributed by Warner Bros. studios.
For those not familiar with the subject matter, it would tell the story of Judah Maccabee, who led a Jewish revolt against Syrian-Greek occupiers of Judea around 166 BCE.
While it remains to be seen if a script will be approved and financing secured, the project has certainly had many in Hollywood and beyond talking. A great miracle will likely happen here, and the picture will get wrapped up in considerable red tape.
Meanwhile, the Anti-Defamation League lashed out demanding that the studio remove Gibson from having anything to do with the film.
“As a hero of the Jewish people and a universal hero in the struggle for religious liberty, Judah Maccabee deserves better,” national director Abraham Foxman said. He added that “it would be a travesty to have the story of the Maccabees told by one who has no respect and sensitivity for other people’s religious views.”
Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Simon Wiesental Center, in reflecting on the Eszterhas-Gibson offering, told the gossip website TMZ that it would be “like having a white supremacist portray Martin Luther King Jr."