In a just-published interview by The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg -- one conducted several years ago, Goldberg says, as part of research for an upcoming book he's writing about Maccabee -- Gibson revealed at least some of his thought process behind the project.
"I just read [Book of Maccabees I and II] when I was teenager, and it's amazing. It's almost like" -- here, he grabbed my digital recorder, held it to his mouth, and spoke in a portentous movie-announcer voice -- "They profaned his Temple. They killed his father. They... all kinds of stuff. In the face of great odds for something he believed in" -- here he switched out of movie-announcer voice -- "Oh, my God, the odds they faced. The armies they faced had elephants! How cinematic is this! Even Judah's dad -- what's his name? Mattathias? -- you kind of get this guy who more or less is trying to avoid the whole thing, but he just gets to a place where had enough, and he just snapped!"
The story of Judah Maccabee also includes some instances of barbaric circumcision and general genital violence, but don't worry: per this years-old interview, Gibson said he'd leave that out. Not that he doesn't have a joke for the occasion. "Hey, did you know they use foreskins for replacing eyelids?" began the embattled star. Click through to The Atlantic to read the punchline. (Or maybe don't.)
[via The Atlantic]