Mel Gibson‘s directorial career may be marked by controversy (“The Passion Of The Christ“) and ambition (“Apocalypto“), but it was “Braveheart” that showed to the world he could make big, mainstream entertainment with its own unique sense of authorship. It’s hard to believe that over twenty years have passed since the blockbuster reception for the movie, that won five Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director. And apparently, there’s even more from the film that’s never been seen.
Chatting with Collider, Gibson revealed that during his struggle to edit the movie to under three hours, about an hour of footage was left on the cutting room floor. Whether or not this material sees the light of day is up to the studio, but the director revealed he’s game to revisit it, and has his own longer cut knocking around at home. Back in the day, when the film was first shown on U.S. television, it was apparently spread over two nights and there were additional scenes added that were not seen in the theatrical cut, which I assume is part of that excised material. Perhaps the success of “Hacksaw Ridge” will compel someone to open up the vaults.
However, the success of Gibson’s upcoming war movie does depend somewhat on whether or not his past controversies have been fully laid to rest. This awards season spurred plenty of discussion about weighing art versus the artist, and when asked by Variety about his 2006 arrest and the leak of the anti-Semitic comments he made at the time, Gibson says he hopes everyone has moved on.
“It was an unfortunate incident,” he said. “I was loaded and angry and arrested. I was recorded illegally by an unscrupulous police officer who was never prosecuted for that crime. And then it was made public by him for profit, and by members of — we’ll call it the press. So, not fair. I guess as who I am, I’m not allowed to have a nervous breakdown, ever.”
“…for me it’s a dim thing in the past. But others bring it up, which kind of I find annoying, because I don’t understand why after 10 years it’s any kind of issue. Surely if I was really what they say I was, some kind of hater, there’d be evidence of actions somewhere. There never has been,” he added. “I’ve never discriminated against anyone or done anything that sort of supports that reputation. And for one episode in the back of a police car on eight double tequilas to sort of dictate all the work, life’s work and beliefs and everything else that I have and maintain for my life is really unfair.”
The conversation about that issue will certain continue in the lead up to the release of “Hacksaw Ridge” on November 4th. Check out the full talks with Gibson below.