Mel is back, that's no secret, but not only is he back, he's "going there again." Somewhere in between an Aussie accented actor making waves with The Road Warrior and Lethal Weapon but before the drunken 2006 arrest and the infamous "The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world!” outburst, Mel Gibson made the highest grossing R-rated film of all time. The Passion of the Christ was, no doubt, a thinly veiled modern version of a Passion Play. And yes, Passion Plays have long been associated with the idea of "blood libel" related to Jews being blamed as "the killers of Christ."
<iframe width="854" height="480" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/FDfUhlBgfoU" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Mel's return to Hollywood was a surprise to many, but perhaps much more surprising is the fact that he's willing to revisit such potentially dangerous territory again. I'll admit, I was not a fan of the original Passion movie. What was marketed as a Christian film came off far more as fundamentalist torture porn to me. The Anti-Defamation League had an entire Q&A page about the film and issues like Mel refusing to hire Jewish consultants for the picture were brought up again and again.
The online Jewish publication Forward recently announced that "Jews should be worried" about the upcoming sequel, to be entitled The Resurrection. Jim Caviezel, who played Jesus' role in the original will return to the silver screen to reprise his role as the saviour of humanity. According to his interview in USA Today, “There are things that I cannot say that will shock the audience. It’s great. Stay tuned.”
Though it's not exactly common knowledge, Mel's father was a Holocaust skeptic, which could have played some role in the formation of the younger Gibson's views about the "Chosen." Hutton Gibson was frank in a 2003 New York Times interview when he responded:
“Go and ask an undertaker or the guy who operates the crematorium what it takes to get rid of a dead body. It takes one liter of petrol and 20 minutes. Now, 6 million?”
As for whether or not Mel can return to open arms in Hollywood, a city, according to LA Times entertainment writer (and arch-Semite) Joel Stein, <a href=" http://articles.latimes.com/2008/dec/19/opinion/oe-stein19">that is "of course" run by Jews</a>, Mel is hopeful. “I’ve also been around long enough to recognize that Hollywood will welcome back just about anyone that might bring in a dollar."
Perhaps the ADL might look more towards Zionist war crimes and other issues and less towards religious films when trying to explain "this era of increasing anti-Semitism and hostility towards Jews."