Let's help Mel Gibson decide on his next projectFebruary 27, 2017

An Academy Award nomination guaranteed Mel Gibson a second life in Hollywood. There were reports that he was looking at the possibility of directing the sequel to "Suicide Squad". David Ayer, who helmed it, would focus on adaptation of DC comics. They could be spin-offs (like Harleen Quinzel starring in her own film). But another "Suicide Squad" might not be a good idea.

Margot Robbie and Jai Courtney played Harley Quinn and Captain Boomerang respectively, and both actors fit like a glove (in their respective characters). As a matter of fact, the cast could be the best thing about the big-screen version of "Suicide Squad". Warner Bros. wanted to make a huge profit from DC Comics, but it misfired on them. For one thing, "Suicide Squad" won't be the right material for the young readers. It could be seen as an alternative universe, where the villains were given a chance for redemption. Don't expect virtues, which would also apply to superheroes. (Their hardened faces would say it all.) Gibson's treatment of the war in "Hacksaw Ridge" reminded some viewers of "Saving Private Ryan", which big studio bosses took notice of it. An adaptation of a comic book could be a tricky thing especially in DC Comics.

Warner Bros. tried almost everything, and the results don't match what Marvel Studios had done during the last ten years. The studio tried its best to reach out to different kinds of audience, but DC comics would appeal to the hardcore fans. In other words, it won't work out if it would be a kid-friendly motion picture. It doesn't mean that producers must use "Deadpool" as a reference. (The sequel might not click like the first one.) It's not hard to imagine Gibson weighing his options carefully. After all, he's already in the twilight of his career.

Here are some suggestions:

A small-budget production set in Australia. This is probably the wisest thing that the "Braveheart" actor/director could do at the moment. There's so much to tell about Oz, and it doesn't need a year (or two) of research. There was once a time when Australian Cinema was on the spotlight. There wasn't a shortage of (original) stories. The best ones were shown in international film festivals while many homegrown talents ended up in Hollywood. Gibson may start another Golden Age. Another thing will be Hollywood distributing his next film, but it will be a predominantly Aussie crew filming in their own backyard. This one doesn't seem like an unlikely scenario, as many Hollywood blockbusters are being filmed outside of America to lessen production cost.

A gritty drama similar to Gibson's early works. This is Gibson's forte, and his fans shouldn't insist on the "Lethal Weapon" series. He can act, he can direct as well. There's no point in thinking about another blockbuster, as older actors are highly unlikely to go back to the A-list. Who knows, Gibson may be thinking of working with Sissy Spacek again. (The two first appeared in "The River", which was released in 1984.)

Another epic adventure picture like "Apocalypto". Purists will point out the inaccuracies in the story, which was set during the last days of the Mayan Empire and the first sighting of the Spanish navigators. But Gibson did his best in trying to recreate the era. (The Native American cast spoke in their own dialect.) Gibson's violent leanings were all over the place, like the graphical depiction of the human sacrifice on the summit of the step pyramid. It was hard to tell if these were close to actual events (or much worse than it), but it won't be called an adventure without a close brush with death. Gibson might look at the first white settlers in Australia, if not the Dutch navigators who first sighted the Australian continent. It would make a great yarn.

It's your turn.

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