Mel Gibson to retire after Vikings
Mel Gibson has announced that his next film, the Viking film, is to be his last, and quite frankly I'm gutted, and he's only directed four films to date.
Now think on that for a moment. Directed four films and many would consider it a great loss for Gibson to stop directing. Think I'm being over dramatic? Look at the films he's made, and then the Viking film that's to come.
The Man Without a Face, Braveheart, The Passion of the Christ and Apocalypto (Filmstalker review). All great films, and a couple absolutely amazing, and whatever you think of them you cannot accuse them of being awful or of being mainstream. In each film he's brought something unique and something special to the big screen, and a couple of times he's created something rather amazing.
Speaking about his latest film Mel Gibson tells us a little of his thoughts about giving it all up.
"It was the first movie I ever thought about making...I saw it in my mind back when I was teenager. Seriously, it's the first movie I wanted to make."
Before he says the big words you can already start to guess what's coming, after all he's basically saying he's going to come full circle with the Viking film.
Speaking to the L.A. Times he continues:
"And I think it will be the last film I direct. It's the thing I have been going toward, in a way, since I was young, and I think when it's done I may be finished."
That does sound pretty final, but then I'm sure we've heard similar things from the man before and he's come back, as the article says of people close to him, he's just too restless.
He then talks about the Viking film itself and that has me forgetting about his thoughts of retiring and getting excited about a Mel Gibson film.
"When I was 16, learning about the history of the English language I became fascinated with Vikings. And I imagined what they would sound like, how would they talk and that's what I will be going for in this film. It's a challenge though. There's never been a good Viking film, not that I've seen. I think I have found the right way to get into it, though, but I don't want to say too much. The real problem is making those guys sympathetic. They were monsters."
That's a good point, our cinematic view of the Viking is far from the real one that invaded foreign lands, raping, pillaging and slaughtering without care, Kirk Douglas' version wasn't very close to the reality.
Graham King, the producer of the film, has a strong view of what this will be:
"This is not going to be a cheap movie to make by any stretch of the imagination. We've got to make it interesting to a worldwide audience. To me, the greatest thing about this is we don't have a book or a familiar story - we had a couple of guys doing a month and a half of research on all of the different Viking stories that are out there."
That said there aren't many Viking stories out there, and the biggest problem so far seems to be that there's no sympathetic way into the stories for there's no Braveheart story or character here, they've got to create one, and with Gibson steering the film it also means that they've got to keep it as realistic and factual as possible. Now that sounds tough and rather fitting for his last film, if it really will be.