You’ve all seen Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang already, right? It was not only one of the best movies of last decade, but really where you can trace Robert Downey’s career comeback to. Also, Val Kilmer played a gay detective. His name was Gay Perry. It may be the best thing Val Kilmer has ever done.
If writer/director Shane Black can make Val Kilmer likable — at least briefly — maybe he can do the same for Mel Gibson again. After that year-year somewhat involuntary retirement from acting, Gibson — whose Edge of Darkness opens tomorrow — is suddenly a hot commodity again, at least in Hollywood’s eyes. He’s already completed Jodie Foster’s The Beaver (think Lars and the Beaver Hand Puppet) and is set to shoot the Mexican prison actioner “How I Spent My Summer Vacation” this summer, while he’s also got his eye on directing an untitled Viking movie with Leonardo DiCaprio.
Now comes word that Gibson has signed on to Shane Black’s first directorial effort since Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, a spy-thriller called Cold Warrior. The movie reteams Gibson with the writer of Lethal Weapon for a movie about a Cold War spy (Gibson) who comes out of retirement to confront a domestic terrorism threat from Russia by joining with a younger agent. In other words, Lethal Weapon with spies. Charles Mondry wrote the script.
What I’m kind of perplexed about is that studios are lining up Gibson for new projects before they’ve even seen how well, or not well, Edge of Darkness does in theaters. My guess is that Gibson’s personal troubles won’t ultimately affect the film, but I’d imagine they’d want to adopt a wait-and-see approach — not that the studios can’t drop him if Edge bombs at the box office.
I still wonder, though, why people are so easy to forgive Mel Gibson when Michael Richards will probably never have a regular acting gig again (despite his fantastically hilarious turn in the most recent season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”) I’ll leave you guys to figure that one out.