Mel Gibson has already taken on Christmas, and is now set to turn his attention to the Chanucah story.
The actor, who was famously arrested for drink driving and launched into a tirade about Jews, is to bring the story of Judah Maccabee to the big screen.
The as yet unnamed drama will be written by Basic Instinct screenwriter Joe Eszterhas and Mr Gibson. It will follow the story of the legendary Jewish warrior, who along with his father and brothers led the Jews in a revolt against the Greek conquerors.
Mr Gibson’s previous biblical outing, The Passion of the Christ, was told in Aramaic, but there is no word yet whether the new film will feature any ancient languages.
Mr Gibson has a track record of playing maverick fighters; one of his most notable roles was that of Scottish rebel William Wallace in Braveheart.
Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Museum of Tolerance, said Mr Gibson should not be cast in the film or involved in it in any way.
"He has shown nothing but antagonism and disrespect to Jews," said Rabbi Hier. "There were the antisemitic remarks he made, his portrayal of Jews in The Passion of Christ.
"He's had a long history of antagonism with Jews. Casting him as a director or perhaps as the star of Judah Maccabee is like casting Madoff to be the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, or a white supremacist as trying to portray Martin Luther King Jr.
"It's simply an insult to Jews."
Read more at TheJC.com.
However, I would be remiss not to include our extended discussion on circumcision. One of the more brutish aspects of the Hannukah story was the decision by the Maccabees to forcibly circumcise assimilated Jews. Some Jews, who had acquiesced to assimilation before the revolt, had even attempted to "rebuild" their foreskins. In other words, the penis plays a more central role in the Hannukah story than you were told in Hebrew School.
This all seemed like fodder for a discussion with Gibson. Here is a transcript of this part of the conversation.
Jeffrey Goldberg: There are some unpleasant aspects to this story, you know. Some crazy stuff went on. Some of the people were so in love with Greek culture that they would uncircumcise themselves.
Mel Gibson: I know! I read that. That's weird. How do you do that?
JG: You attach weights to your penis, I think. I think they pull the skin down. Some people have extra skin.
MG: Fuck, I don't know. I don't know how you do it.
JG: I think they attach weights. Which has to --
MG: -- Damage you.
JG: Well, hurt like I don't know what. The whole idea was to go and wrestle naked. It wasn't just in front of your wife that you were worried about. It was in the gymnasium.
MG: With the guys!
JG: I guess they didn't want to be embarrassed with a circumcised prick.
JG: Yeah, dick. It was a war about circumcision in some ways.
JG: I don't know how you dramatize that.
MG: You have to mention it, but you wouldn't want to make it a thing in the movie. "Hold them down!" Jesus.
JG: Try to convince your actors.
MG: In this scene, we'll stay away from the disgusting aspects. We'll stay on the guy's face. Aaargghhh!
JG: Well, you did that before. You had them pull out your intestines in Braveheart.
MG: Disemboweled. You know, they castrated William Wallace. First they castrated him, then they dragged him through the streets behind horses.
JG. They did?
MG: I softened it a lot. They cut off his dick and his balls and they dragged him through the streets. Then they hung him up and drew and quartered him. He was a real wreck.
JG: I didn't realize they castrated him.
MG: It was hideous. Yecchhh. You don't put that in films. I thought, "I'm not doing that."