Mel Gibson, who hasn’t starred in a movie since 2002’s Signs and appeared in one since he had a cameo in 2004’s Paparazzi (to focus on making Passion of the Christ, Apocalypto, and hating Jewish people) is turning into quite a busy man lately. In addition to being cast in Richard Donner’s Sam and George and the big-screen adaptation of William Queen’s novel Under and Alone, Gibson is starring in Martin Casino Royale Campbell’s Edge of Darkness. Not to be confused with Heart of Darkness (also known as Apocalypse Now), Edge is about a detective investigating the death of his activist daughter, has had some more cast members announced.
Danny Huston, Shawn Roberts, and Bojana Novakovic have joined the cast alongside Gibson, Robert De Niro, and Wayne Duvall (who played KKK member Homer Stokes in the Coens’ O Brother! Where Art Thou?).
Huston, perhaps the most well-known of the new cast members was recently seen in the Comic Con footage of X-Men Origins: Wolverine as William Stryker. Huston is an accomplished actor who’s appeared in several great films even though he really hasn’t made a name for himself. Those works include The Constant Gardener, The Proposition, The Aviator, Marie Antoinette, Children of Men, and 30 Days of Night. And as far as X-Men connections go, Shawn Roberts was briefly in Bryan Singer’s original film as Rogue’s boyfriend who’s nearly killed when they kiss. Novakovic is an Australian actress who hasn’t really made a splash in Hollywood films as of yet.
The film, written by Oscar winner William Monaghan (The Departed) is in production now and is slated for a 2009 release.
I like that Gibson is back to acting. The films he directs are usually pretty good (especially Braveheart and Apocalypto), but his is a presence that Hollywood has been missing. Sure, he’s not the most compelling or dynamic actor, but he has such a Hollywood star persona that one could pretty much watch him do anything for two hours and be entertained. The films he’s making now seem to be more dark and dramatic, but hopefully it won’t be too long before Gibson gets back to doing something lighter, like What Women Want (a guilty pleasure of mine).