You may be thinking that you’ve been hearing about Mel Gibson’s “The Professor and the Madman” for years now. And you wouldn’t be wrong. The actor has been developing the film for decades, finally beginning production in 2016. However, since then, the film has been stuck in legal hell and has yet to see the light of day.
Thankfully, we have a trailer for the film, which gives us the first good look at the film, which has an incredible cast that includes Gibson, Sean Penn, Natalie Dormer, Ioan Gruffudd, and Steve Coogan. And in the trailer, we learn the premise of the film, which follows the titular professor (Gibson), as he works with a madman (Penn) to develop the Oxford English Dictionary. Now, that might not sound like the most exciting film ever made, but the trailer for “The Professor and the Madman” does a great job at presenting what seems to be a very interesting film. However, that’s only half the story.
The reason the film has sat on the shelf for over a year is because of a legal battle between Gibson and the production company Voltage Pictures. The actor claims that he and director Farhad Safinia were denied the chance to utilize five additional days of shooting, which would have allowed them to do shots at Oxford instead of in Ireland, and the option of having final cut. However, Voltage says the film was already over budget and behind schedule, so they denied the request. Gibson and Safinia ended up walking away from production.
Voltage pushed forward without the actor and director and ended up winning the legal battle. Now, with the behind-the-scenes drama in the past, the film will finally be released in 2019 thanks to Vertical Entertainment. However, don’t expect Gibson or Safinia to promote the film, as the director is now listed as PB Shemran.
“The Professor and the Madman” is scheduled to be released on later this year.