Joe Eszterhas (screenwriter of Basic Instinct and Showgirls) has had the mother of all fallouts with Mel Gibson. Gibson hired him to write a screenplay for a movie about the Maccabees (the Jewish rebel army, not the rock band). The elevator pitch was 'the Jewish Braveheart'.
Mel Gibson. Joe Eszterhas. The Jews. What could go wrong?
A nine-page letter from Eszterhas to Gibson marked 'Personal and Confidential' has just been leaked.
To summarise, Eszterhas accuses Gibson of:
2) Violent misogyny.
3) Uncontrolled violent temper.
4) Obscene denunciations of the Catholic church.
and, perhaps most importantly,
5) It's six weeks since Eszterhas delivered his script and he's heard from Warner Bros. that they're not proceeding with the project and he's heard nothing from Gibson at all.
You don't even need to read between the lines of Eszterhas's letter to infer that if Gibson had got straight back to him and told how much he loved the screenplay, then suddenly Estzterhas might have managed to live with 1,2,3 and 4.
It reminds me of an old screenwriter's joke:
A Hollywood screenwriter arrives home to find his street blocked off by fire engines and police cars. Flames are billowing from his house. A harrowed policeman takes him to one side:
'I'm so sorry,' he says. 'Your agent came to your house. He killed your wife. Then he killed your children. He killed your dog, your cat. Then he set fire to the house.'
There is a silence and then a slow, beatific smile spreaks across the screenwriter's face:
'My agent came to my house?' he says.