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Mel Gibson's Maccabee Movie Reportedly Put On Hold By Warner Bros.

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 04/11/2012 4:14 pm Updated: 04/11/2012 5:17 pm

Mel Gibson Judah Maccabee

Mel Gibson's Judah Maccabee movie might not be happening after all. The Wrap exclusively reports that Warner Bros. was unhappy with the script that Joe Eszterhas turned in earlier this year and has decided to put the film on hold.

"We are analyzing what to do with the project," a Warner Bros. source told The Wrap.

The news that Gibson would direct a feature film about Maccabee was met with much outrage when it was announced last year. Maccabee was a Jewish warrior who led a band of fighters over the Syrian and Grecian armies; their victory is celebrated on Hannukah.

"I just read [Book of Maccabees I and II] when I was teenager, and it's amazing," Gibson told The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg several years ago. "They profaned his Temple. They killed his father. They ... all kinds of stuff. In the face of great odds for something he believed in. Oh, my God, the odds they faced. The armies they faced had elephants! How cinematic is this! Even Judah's dad -- what's his name? Mattathias? -- you kind of get this guy who more or less is trying to avoid the whole thing, but he just gets to a place where had enough, and he just snapped!"

Though Maccabee's story sounds very cinematic, apparently Eszterhas' script was not. Per The Wrap, one high-ranking Warner Bros. executive reportedly said it lacked “feeling” and “a sense of triumph." Said another: "The script didn't pass muster."

What happens with the project now remains to be seen, but many Jewish leaders are probably hoping it doesn't go forward with Gibson involved. The Oscar winner infamously uttered a torrent of anti-Semitic comments after being pulled over for DUI suspicion back in 2006. "The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world," he said while intoxicated.

Gibson was also accused of anti-Semitism for his portrayal of Jewish people in "The Passion of the Christ."

"[T]hose Jews who did not accept Christ, they were all portrayed as idiots, buffoons or people who were tyrants, with a very unfair portrayal," Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of Los Angeles's Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance, said last year.

For more on Warner Bros.' decision on Gibson's Maccabee movie, head over to The Wrap.

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 14: (L-R) Actors Mel Gibson, Sean Penn and Julia Roberts attend the Cinema For Peace event benefitting J/P Haitian Relief Organization in Los Angeles held at Montage Hotel on January 14, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images For J/P Haitian Relief Organization and Cinema For Peace)

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 14: Actor Mel Gibson (L) and Warner Bros. President of Worldwide Marketing Sue Kroll attend the Cinema For Peace event benefitting J/P Haitian Relief Organization in Los Angeles held at Montage Hotel on January 14, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images For J/P Haitian Relief Organization and Cinema For Peace)

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    BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 14: Actor Mel Gibson arrives at the Cinema For Peace event benefitting J/P Haitian Relief Organization held at Montage Hotel at Montage Beverly Hills on January 14, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Angela Weiss/Getty Images)

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 14: Actor Mel Gibson arrives at the Cinema For Peace event benefitting J/P Haitian Relief Organization in Los Angeles held at Montage Hotel on January 14, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images For J/P Haitian Relief Organization and Cinema For Peace)

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    BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 14: Actor Mel Gibson and honoree Robert Downey Jr. speak onstage during The 25th American Cinematheque Award Honoring Robert Downey Jr. held at The Beverly Hilton hotel on October 14, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 14: Actor Mel Gibson arrives at the Cinema For Peace event benefitting J/P Haitian Relief Organization in Los Angeles held at Montage Hotel on January 14, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images For J/P Haitian Relief Organization and Cinema For Peace)

  • Cinema For Peace Event Benefitting J/P Haitian Relief Organization In Los Angeles - Red Carpet

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 14: Actor Mel Gibson arrives at the Cinema For Peace event benefitting J/P Haitian Relief Organization in Los Angeles held at Montage Hotel on January 14, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images For J/P Haitian Relief Organization and Cinema For Peace)

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    BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 14: Actor Mel Gibson arrives at the Cinema For Peace event benefitting J/P Haitian Relief Organization held at Montage Hotel at Montage Beverly Hills on January 14, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Angela Weiss/Getty Images)

  • Cinema For Peace Event Benefitting J/P Haitian Relief Organization In Los Angeles - Inside

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 14: Actors Mel Gibson (L) and Sean Penn attend the Cinema For Peace event benefitting J/P Haitian Relief Organization in Los Angeles held at Montage Hotel on January 14, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images For J/P Haitian Relief Organization and Cinema For Peace)

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    BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 14: Actor Mel Gibson speaks onstage during The 25th American Cinematheque Award Honoring Robert Downey Jr. held at The Beverly Hilton hotel on October 14, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

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