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Things are looking extremely bad for Mel Gibson right now. On Friday, following news that Gibson was being investigated for domestic violence, the audio recording of his stomach-churning rant against ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva hit the internet. Gibson responded by trying to hold Grigorieva in contempt of court, for allegedly leaking the tapes. But the damage has been done: it's no longer a game of he-said-she-said, now that we've all heard those ugly words come out of Gibson's mouth. And as if to put the final nail in the coffin, Gibson's agent has dumped him. At 54 years old, has Mel Gibson doomed himself to early retirement?
His days as a dashing leading man are certainly over -- but then, they've been over for a while. It's been a quarter-century since Gibson was declared People's Sexiest Man Alive, and a decade since he charmed Helen Hunt in What Women Want. His last hit as an actor was 2002's Signs, in which he played a single dad defending his family against aliens. This year's Edge of Darkness was Gibson's attempt to come back as an action hero, but it bombed big-time -- in part, at least, because audiences were turned off by Gibson's initial racist, sexist rant (during his 2006 DUI arrest). Although Gibson has already filmed two leading roles in upcoming movies -- as a career criminal whose life is changed by a kid in How I Spent My Summer Vacation, and as a man who talks to a puppet in the black comedy The Beaver -- audiences are unlikely to show him any love.
But what of Gibson's career behind the scenes? Although he's only directed four feature films, two of them -- Braveheart (1995) and The Passion of the Christ (2004) -- had enormous box office success and cultural impact. As a producer, Gibson has also been influential: he founded Icon Productions, a successful indie studio. If Gibson was a young upstart, Hollywood would probably drop him like a hot potato right now. But because he's got so many hands in so many pots -- and has made so many people so much money -- it's unlikely that his career will meet an abrupt end.
Our guess is that Gibson will lay low for a while (if he manages to stay out of jail for those abuse charges). Then he'll probably go back to directing, as he's got several major projects in the pipeline -- like that Viking movie with Leonardo DiCaprio. His name may not be at the top of the movie posters anymore, but there's nothing to stop Gibson from making films... if he can still find actors and a crew willing to work with him.
Do you think Mel Gibson should have a future in Hollywood? Chime in below!
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- Mel Gibson's Ex Speaks Out About Their Split