'Beaver' star teams on script despite anti-Semitic comments

In a stunning development given his history of anti-Semitic remarks, Mel Gibson is teaming with “Showgirls” scribe Joe Eszterhas on a screenplay about Jewish hero Judah Maccabee.

Set at Warner Bros., Gibson has first option to direct the drama being produced through his Icon Prods. banner.

Maccabee was a legendary Jewish warrior who, along with his father and four brothers, led a revolt against the Greek-Syrian armies that conquered Judea in the second century B.C. The feast of Hanukkah celebrates the restoration of Jewish worship at the temple in Jerusalem after Maccabee removed the pagan statuary.

Gibson, who most recently starred in Jodie Foster’s “The Beaver,” last directed “Apocalypto” in 2006. His next film, “How I Spent My Summer Vacation,” has had difficulty finding U.S. distribution in the wake of the actor’s troubles stemming from his split from ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva.

Eszterhas has long been intrigued by Jewish themes, having written the ’80s films “Music Box” and “Betrayed” for director Costa-Gavras and producer Irwin Winkler.

Gibson, who is currently without agency representation, is repped by Shanahan Management in Australia, while ICM and BMP rep Eszterhas.

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