Eszterhas, the screenwriter behind “Basic Instinct” and “Showgirls,” worked on the screenplay for Gibson’s planned film about Jewish hero Judah Maccabee — a project the Anti-Defamation League said would be a “travesty” in part because of the anti-Semitic remarks Gibson made while being arrested for DUI in 2006.
Yesterday, reports surfaced that Warner Brothers had shelved the project over concerns about the script.
In the nine-page letter, Eszterhas comes to the conclusion that Gibson won’t make the movie because he “hates Jews.” He accused the actor of uttering anti-Semitic slurs and being a Holocaust denier. Eszterhas also states Gibson made threats regarding Oksana Grigorieva, his ex-girlfriend and mother of his daughter Luci. The entire letter can be read here.
Gibson responded in a statement statement, published by The L.A. Times, calling “the great majority of the facts as well as the statements and actions attributed” to him in the letter “utter fabrications.”
In the statement, Gibson writes that he and the studio “were extraordinarily disappointed with the draft” Eszterhas turned in.
“In 25 years of script development I have never seen a more substandard first draft or a more significant waste of time. The decision not to proceed with you was based on the quality of your script, not on any other factor,” the letter concludes.