The last we saw of Mel Gibson was his blip of an appearance during the opening video of the 78th Annual Academy Awards. The actor-turned-director found his niche with Passion of the Christ and is now preparing to give us another foreign language feel-good movie titled Apocalypto.
The film, which screams violence, is set to come our way August 4th. Since the project could become another box office shifting event we are surprised that the updates on the film have been so few. Actually, the only updates I can think of are the preview of the first trailer and the first trailer itself.
Fortunately, Mel Gibson is beginning to pop up in the media including this latest rendezvous with TIME.
Apocalypto with Mel Gibson
TIME was able to catch up with Mel Gibson on the set of Apocalypto and deliver an incredibly rich report on what we can expect from the film.
"I need to see the blood!" shouts Mel Gibson. "Your character is going to die soon!" He picks up a bullhorn: "Attention! We are all dying here! We are all dying!" The Oscar-winning director is standing in a rock quarry near Veracruz, Mexico, shooting a hellish scene for Apocalypto, his action epic about the ancient Maya. Hundreds of local extras--many of whom have never seen a movie, let alone acted in one--are pounding fake limestone to build a temple used for human sacrifices. Gibson wants one of the extras, covered in white lime dust, to visibly cough up a glob of fake blood. But something keeps getting lost in translation. Take after take, the young man, who speaks only Spanish, politely covers his mouth as he hacks. A second candidate for the role does the same. Gibson finally lets out a tortured howl, digs vainly for a cigarette in his empty pack of Camels and turns the set into his own Thunderdome. The translator does his best to convey the passion of the Mel.
Mel Gibson on set of Apocalypto.
The blasts turn to laughs soon after when, to lighten the mood, Gibson has the crew bring out a stuffed jaguar and leads the extras running away in mock terror. But later he admits to TIME, which this month was given the first look at Apocalypto's production, that the utter inexperience of most of the cast is a price he's paying for the authentic feel he wants in the film, in which dialogue is spoken solely in Yucatec Maya. If people were imagining that Gibson, 50, might coast a little after his 2004 movie, The Passion of the Christ, inspired not only months of controversy but also nearly $1 billion worth of ticket sales, the director has given his answer: Nope. If anything, this film is a more ambitious project than The Passion--although success does make some things a mite easier.
The image above is one of the new images previewed over at TIME. Head over there to check out the lengthy report on Mel Gibson and his Apocalypto.
Apocalypto comes to theatres on August 4th.
For the trailer and more movie info, go to the Apocalypto Movie Page.
Stay tuned for updates.