Academy Award Winner Mel Gibson has been cast as a drunk TV actor for a new Charlie Hunnam film. This could be called “on the nose casting,” given Gibson’s series of scandals in the latter days of his career. But first, some film details: Last Looks is based on a novel by Howard Michael Gould and due to be released in February. It’s another step in what appears to be the rehabilitation of Gibson after years in the Hollywood wilderness. But whether it will continue his recent renaissance will have to be seen.
Last Looks will be Mel Gibson’s third feature produced in 2021. So far, Boss Level (a science fiction action movie starring Frank Grill) and Dangerous (a Scott Eastwood thriller) have been released. Meanwhile in Last Looks, Gibson will star as an “eccentric” alcoholic actor, whose wife turns up dead. Charlie Hunnam will co-star as Charlie Waldo, a Los Angeles director and the protagonist of several of Gould’s novels. Gould also wrote the screenplay. He most recently co-wrote and directed The Six Wives of Henry Lefay, a Tim Allen vehicle in 2009. Presumably, Last Looks will involve Gibson’s character and Hunnam’s reclusive Charlie Waldo teaming up to find his wife’s real killer. Hardboiled gunplay will likely be involved.
Of course, Mel Gibson already has a long history of buddying up in criminal investigations (on film). The actor was well-known as the titular star of George Miller’s gritty science fiction series of Mad Max films in the late ’70s and ’80s. When Richard Donner cast him in Lethal Weapon, Gibson achieved a new level of stardom. The 1987 film made Gibson an A-list Hollywood star and helped define the emerging genre of buddy-cop films. Gibson portrayed unhinged LAPD detective Martin Riggs for three sequels.
In recent years, the Lethal Weapon franchise was rebooted as a FOX tv show. The film series just recently was confirmed to be getting a fifth film. Interestingly, Gibson will not reprise his character, but will instead direct the upcoming sequel. Gibson certainly does have a great deal of directing experience. He won the Oscars for Best Director and Best Picture for his historical epic Braveheart in 1995, as well as the Golden Globe for Best Director. He followed that up with the controversial The Passion of the Christ and Apocalypto. For years, he remained one of the film industry’s biggest actor-directors.
Beginning in the mid-00s, his career began to sink as reports of his drunk driving arrest in 2006 exploded across the media. Along with his alleged homophobia and anti-Semitic rants, he was further tarnished by a leaked recording of him making threats to his then-romantic partner Oksana Grigorieva. Thereafter, he pled no-contest to a misdemeanor battery charge after LAPD began a domestic violence investigation. Gibson became a persona non grata in Hollywood for years. His career has begun to revitalize recently. Despite a recent op-ed piece in The Atlantic calling for Gibson to be permanently cancelled and the recency of his allegedly abhorrent behavior, it appears he is going to continue to be cast in films.