EXCLUSIVE: In what amounts to another important step toward putting a once-great career back on track, Hacksaw Ridge director Mel Gibson has signed with CAA. This comes a day after his longtime manager (and former CAA agent) Rick Nicita closed his management company to focus on producing. It is the first time Gibson will have been repped by an agency since 2010, when WME dropped him. All this comes in the wake of critical and financial success for Hacksaw Ridge, the first film that Gibson has directed since 2006’s Apocalypto. The film has grossed over $160M worldwide on a $40 million budget, and just received a PGA nomination, on top of BAFTA, Golden Globe and other accolades, heading into Oscar nominations.
By his own admission, Gibson spent a decade away from directing because of the publicity he received mostly for making anti-Semitic comments in the back of a police car after being arrested for drunk driving. Long sober, he told Deadline he regrets those comments, and believe the problems that caused them are in his rear view mirror. Signing with CAA will help continue his momentum as an actor and a filmmaker whose Braveheart won Best Picture and Best Director Oscars, and whose The Passion of the Christ remains the largest domestic grossing R rated film (even though its $611.9 million WW gross was surpassed by Deadpool). Gibson is almost done starring with Sean Penn in The Professor and the Madman, and is booked to star in the Benjamin Rocher-directed Every Other Weekend. As director, he has been developing several projects. Atop that list is a film on the Italian banking family The Medicis, the Viking epic Berserker, and a Passion sequel that Braveheart scribe Randall Wallace is scripting. He is also teamed with Kurt Russell, Kate Hudson and Nicita on the gold rush TV series The Barbary Coast.