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'The Beaver' goes back into the woods

February 7, 2011 |  6:00 pm

What a strange, furry situation. After finally landing a release date, "The Beaver" has been pushed back.

Nearly two months ago, Summit Entertainment set March 23 as the limited-release date for the Jodie Foster-Mel Gibson drama, with a wide release to follow on April 8.

But the studio said Monday it was moving back the release date for the movie, in which Gibson plays a man with depression, by about six weeks. The film will now come out on May 6 in limited release and expand on May 20, a date that also happens to mark the opening of Johnny Depp's "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides." After the U.S. opening, it will roll out internationally.

The film will keep its world premiere at the South by Southwest Film Festival next month, festival organizers said.

After several stops and starts in development, the independent film's fate was thrown into question last summer when recordings surfaced apparently of Gibson making abusive phone calls to ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva. Summit decided not to release the movie, which was completed, in the fall and waited until nearly the end of the year before announcing the March-April rollout. The movie then played for select media in Los Angeles and New York.

When Summit did announce a release date two months ago, questions arose about whether Gibson's public image would have recovered sufficiently by the time the movie hit theaters to allow for promotion of a film in which he stars; it also raised the issue of how much promotion he could or would do himself. A Summit spokesman confirmed the date change but declined to comment further.

The new date allows for more dust to settle on the Gibson affair -- and according to one person familiar with the studio's plans who asked not to be identified, might allow more buzz to build out of SXSW. But  it also pushes the movie into a period crowded with films that appeal to broad audiences. In addition to "Pirates," the superhero movie "Thor" (May 6) the female-oriented comedy "Bridesmaids (May 13), the male buddy-comedy "The Hangover 2" (May 26) as well as the art-house title "The Tree of Life" (May 27) all come out in that month.

There's also another furry creature making a play for audience affections when "Kung Fu Panda 2" comes out on May 26. Yes, it's all a bit of a zoo.

-- Steven Zeitchik


Photo: Mel Gibson in "The Beaver." Credit: Summit Entertainment


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Comments () | Archives (9)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Sounds like they're burying it, no? "Yeah, it crashed and vanished, but it was up against Jack Sparrow and the Kung-Fu Panda - what could we do?!"

Mel deserves a bout of depression, in fact perhaps it would be a good indication of actual contrition on his part, though really I just feel bad that the beaver has to hang out with him.

Dear Mel. You are now not only hard to take, you're hard to look at. Let's keep the close ups to the beaver. It's kind of good to know that if you hate monger and drink to excess it does, in fact, show up on your face. Time to climb back under your rock. I don't think the public wants to see you, or hear from you, any more.

hard to tell in the photo which one is the beaver and which one is the nazi (mel)....no one cares to see you anymore mel...so just move back to australia and preach your father's hate....american has no use for a washed up alcoholic racist bigot who terrorizes woman.


If they are waiting for the view that many people currently have regarding Mel Gibson to subside, they are also taking a chance that evil Gibson will appear in the interim.

Not that i was looking forward to this film, but im glad Mr Gibson has put his problems behind him and is continuing to work in films, and hopefully he'll direct something again soon. Great film maker.

One question: Did Mel record all his dialogue over the phone?If so I'm DEFINITELY seeing this!

one of the best moviemaker of all time, jesus what are saying people ? i want to see that viking film ! go on Mel and hold on, don't care if you are the bad or good man here, just don't give a damn... I just love your movies

What are you saying people ?
It is for sure one of the best director of all time, i just want to see that viking movie one day.. i don't care mel if you are the good or even the bad guy, just love your movies !
And you haters just look at yourself before saying anything, Oh dear you're right, i am talking to saints around here..


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