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Famed Weirdos Gibson and Foster Team for Weird Script

July 13, 2009

Over the years, we’ve seen Oscar winners Mel Gibson and Jodi Foster wrench emotion from us through a variety of characters. 

Gibson fought for freedom as Scotland’s common-man hero William Wallace and tackled the melancholy Dane in Hamlet. Foster was the wet-behind-the-ears agent Clarice Starling and an assaulted barfly in The Accused.

Truly, the two are — from a film standpoint, at least — national treasures. And when they team together, surely we can expect the books of acting to be rewritten.

Prepare yourselves, then, for Gibson and Foster’s next collaboration. The film is called The Beaver. And I’ll let Variety lay the premise on you:

“…Gibson will play a depressed man who finds solace in wearing a beaver hand-puppet. On top of helming, Foster will play the role of the man’s wife.”

Yes, I’m totally serious. No, I won’t get out of town. That’s the logline for the film. The man who brought us Jesus Christ on the cross will soon, apparently, be the man who brought us a rodent children’s toy on his fist.

This is an odd film for these two for a multitude of reasons that, oddly enough, don’t include the script being about a depressed man who talks to a beaver puppet. First, you have Jodi Foster, a reclusive acting stalwart who rarely makes a film that’s not at least close to top-notch. Then you have poor, poor, wacky Mel Gibson, whose Q-rating over the last three years has been up and down more times than the needle on Oprah’s scale (Hey-oooo!), and who is honestly going to follow up a non-English-speaking Mayan apocalypse film with a movie about a man who talks to a puppet which talks back with…wait for it…a British accent.

Ready for the kicker? The Beaver, as ridiculous as it sounds, was the number one ranked unproduced script on Hollywood’s infamous “Black List” last year…named so by the town’s top script readers. It even once had, at different times, Steve Carrell and Jim Carrey attached. And apparently, it’s quite awesome.

Aren’t you impressed, by the way, that I have yet to make a single suggestive joke about the title? 

Still, I’m not sure I can get over a Foster/Gibson union for this film. She seems too buttoned-down and he swings back and forth from “I’m Mr. Dramatic” to “I’m a hilarious wildman!” This doesn’t exactly seem in either of the actors’ respective wheelhouses. Gibson’s comic roles by and large are just variations on Martin Riggs, and Foster’s directorial efforts include only Little Man Tate, Home for the Holidays, and a 1988 episode of Tales From the Darkside. I didn’t see the latter, but the former two don’t exactly fill me with Charlie Kaufman-esque hope for the film.  

Either way, I look forward to seeing Foster’s Beaver in 2011. If it’s tight, it may be a surprise success. But handled wrong, it could get hairy.

I’m so sorry.

One Comment
  1. July 13, 2009 10:47 pm

    I … I …

    … I got nothin’.

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