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Will Mel Gibson do it again?

Outcast Mel sells his film the hard way "It's a film executive's nightmare. You need to market a $50m blockbuster, but can't mention the biggest Hollywood name behind the project, especially when that A-list star has become infamous for drunken driving and mouthing anti-semitic comments. (...)

Now the eccentric film-maker has embarked on a remarkable marketing campaign to promote Apocalypto to audiences in America's heartland, skipping the usual media channels and going direct to the public.

But Apocalypto, set in an ancient Mayan civilisation, is starting to generate some high-quality buzz. First reports from a series of Gibson-organised test screenings have been positive. At one, the movie was given a standing ovation. Harry Knowles, a hugely influential internet critic, said it was a 'rough masterpiece' of 'immense power'.

It is certainly an unusual film, not least because Gibson seems now to shun English. The Passion of the Christ, was filmed in Aramaic; Apocalypto has been shot all in Yucatec, the Mayan language .(...)

Yet he has not entirely been able to escape new controversy. Though The Passion established him as a darling of the right, Apocalypto seems to court a more liberal audience. Gibson sees a link between the collapsing Mayan world and the policies of the White House, and has likened the human sacrifice in the film to the waste of US soldiers' lives in Iraq.(..)

After that [The Passion] , no one would write off Apocalypto entirely. There is also one thing playing in Gibson's favour. In a movie world where everyone loves a dramatic story, no plot line succeeds like a comeback against all the odds. 'It is an inalienable right in Hollywood to have a happy ending,' said Grove."
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