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Liz Smith

Whither Mel Gibson?

February 19, 2004|Liz Smith

NEW YORK — "Can Mel Gibson survive 'The Passion of the Christ?' " asks Entertainment Weekly. Oh, come now. Of course he can, and he will! Gibson has made a movie, not issued an encyclical, nor offered an edict, nor made a law -- no, it's just his version of the four Gospels of the New Testament (and perhaps a few persuasive ideas from other more conservative Catholic religious thinkers).

This is not such a big deal. But this is a movie that will definitely make its money back. And after all, isn't money the greatest religion of the moviemaking community?

For Hollywood, it's about dollars and cents, and Jesus himself wouldn't be able, nor has he ever been able, to drive the moneylenders out of that particular temple. Another "Lethal Weapon" or "Mad Max" movie or another nifty comedy will put Gibson back in familiar territory. The producers will still be saying, "Get us Mel Gibson!"

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