Call it a comeback? Well, not yet. Jodie Foster's "The Beaver" didn't exactly bring Mel Gibson back into the spotlight after his very public rants and raves at then-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva. The film got mediocre reviews and hasn't exactly returned financially on the $20 million budget. Needless to say, he's got a while before reaching Robert Downey Jr. heights of personal rehabilitation. That doesn't mean he isn't trying, as Variety reports that he's in talks to join Brad Mirman's "Sleight of Hand."
The film is a buddy heist comedy along the lines of the 'Ocean's' trilogy and has already signed on stars like Keifer Sutherland, Gerard Depardieu and Thomas Jane in supporting roles. An international crew including Giancarlo Giannini, Jon Lovitz and Johnny Hallyday will also be a part of the crew of bungling burglars in Paris that accidentally steal a rare gold coin owned by a gangster.
Richard Rionda del Castro will produce through Hannibal Classics with Gilles Thompson of Acteurs, Auteurs, Associes. Exec producing is Patricia Eberle, with an expected production start in July. It seems relatively early days, in terms of Gibson's involvement, and there could still be a "Hangover 2"-style rebellion by cast members, but it seems unlikely. In fact, considering Kiefer Sutherland's in the film as well, this could be the drunkest set since Richard Harris, David Hemmings and Oliver Reed were reunited in Malta for "Gladiator." And like that film, possibly end with one of the cast's liver exploding.
While Gibson is quite familiar with the buddy crime drama, this use of ensemble talent is new for him. Perhaps it's a good move to stand out, but not too much, rather than take on another leading man role in films that nobody wants to see. Mirman doesn't have a good track record as a director or a writer (highest profile writing credit: "Body of Evidence," with Madonna), so this isn't exactly one that we're holding our breath for: mostly it just seems like a direct-to-video "Ocean's 11" rip-off.