Remember the days when the only bad PR thrown Mel Gibson's way was when he laid goose eggs at your local multiplex like "Bird on a Wire" and "The Man Without a Face?" Me either. The latest Gibson fustercluck, a series of embarrassing and incredibly alarming tapes, is the icing on a cake he baked years ago when he blew off claims of Anti-Semitism for "The Passion of the Christ" and was caught on tape spewing hatred during a DWI arrest.
It's pretty clear since jumping the Christ, err shark, Gibson has no longer been the quintessential leading man he once was. The days of the actor's name above the title ensuring box office success are over. We all remember the days when he could open a crapfest like "Paycheck" and have it pay dividends for the studio. In any event, Gibson is now nothing more than an exaggerated, far less likable, and far more dangerous version of his off-the-wall "Lethal Weapon" character Martin Riggs.
Gibson's public image has forever been tarnished, and while he can finance his own films, I highly doubt people will come out to see them like they did for "Passion" and even "Apocalypto." Having said all of this, there may be some ways for Gibson to regain some of his past glory. I've listed six career decisions that may stop his downward spiral. Don't count on it.
Make another 'Lethal Weapon': Fans fell in love with Gibson as the lovable loose cannon Riggs, and given some of the "conversations" the tabloids have been exploiting for months, it wouldn't hurt the actor to share the screen once again with an African American. Perhaps in this sequel, Gibson could re-team with Danny Glover and play a dual role: Riggs and a doppelganger wealthy filmmaker who allegedly abuses women, alcohol, and self destructs.
Work with Jewish filmmakers: Nothing says you're sorry for behaving like a jackass more than conceiving "Yentl 2." Better yet, call Eli Roth and have him recreate his "Jew Bear" role from "Inglourious Basterds" and have him beat the Antisemitism out of you over a 1-1/2 hour film.
Make a movie in which you die: Fan club losing members as your public image continues to get tainted? Why not play a villain in a popcorn flick? What better way to get asses back into multiplexes then having them hate you at a price?
Play against type: Robert DeNiro did it with "Awakenings," and Ben Stiller sort of did in "Tropic Thunder." Anytime an actor plays against type, it's an instant way for reaction -- good or bad. The old Mel Gibson didn't take himself too seriously -- maybe it's time to return to form. Perhaps playing a character unlike himself (perhaps one with strong moral character), might be just what the doctor ordered. One suggestion: play Bernie in a ""Weekend at Bernie's" retread or go "Bosom Buddies" style and kick it like a lady. Speaking of which...
Make a romantic comedy: With all the allegations surrounding him and Oksana, it's quite easy for women to have turned stomachs at the very thought of Mel Gibson. What better way to fix that, and I say this only if those allegations are false (if they're true, God help him), than having him play an unlikable man who finds someone who changes him forever. A good schlockfest RomCom could help bring Gibson to "What Women Want" form. That film was horrid, but it made a ton of cash. If this route doesn't pan out, I suggest you go "Brokeback" style because your reputation suggests you wouldn't support that kind of lifestyle.
Hire Quentin: Quentin Tarantino resurrected the careers of John Travolta and arguably Darryl Hannah. Ask the indie auteur to build a film around you. I have a suggested premise: a band of renegade chicks set out to destroy a sociopath who did them wrong. Guess who could play the sociopath?
None of the allegations are funny, hopefully some of these were.
Follow Jon Chattman on Twitter: www.twitter.com/realjonchattman