It’s no laughing matter, trying to sell a serious rumination on depression and the ways it can derail a life to Hollywood executives seeking warm-and-fuzzy romantic comedies and stories of teenage vampires in love. It’s even harder when that drama, about a man who combats his middle-aged funk by communicating through a hand puppet known only as The Beaver, stars the polarizing Mel Gibson.
It has been eight years since Mel Gibson last starred in a movie, in M. Night Shyamalan’s extraterrestrial thriller Signs. Now Gibson, 54, is returning to the screen in Edge of Darkness, director Martin Campbell’s adaptation of his acclaimed, six-hour BBC miniseries about a brooding cop investigating the murder of his daughter.
For any actress, landing the title role in a movie like Lee Daniels’ Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire, a powerful drama about an overweight, illiterate teenager who escapes her abusive mother with the help of a dedicated teacher (Paula Patton) and a social worker (Mariah Carey), would be a coup.