It’s not often that a film with one of the biggest stars in the world gets a digital platform release before releasing anywhere else, but it seems that’s going to be the case with the next Mel Gibson film Get the Gringo. Originally titled How I Spent My Summer Vacation, the film has been sitting on the shelf for the past two years, and opinions are different as to why. Some think it may be due to the quality of the film (studios are known to sit on stinkers to see if they air out over time) or just the fact that Gibson has not had the best press experiences the last two years. His two most recent films Edge of Darkness and The Beaver got decent reviews, but at the same time, neither made a lot of money at the box office, and many think its because Gibson has become box office poison.
If anything, Hollywood is incredibly forgiving to past transgressions, and so are their fans. If Gibson ever does get forgiven by the public, it won’t be this soon. At the same time, sitting on the film for even longer isn’t the best financial decision, if that’s something that even matters, since Gibson produced the film himself. The risk paid off in the past with The Passion of the Christ but this doesn’t have the same type of audience. Which will be obvious when you see the trailer.
Gibson co-wrote the film with Stacy Perski and the director of the film, Adrian Grunberg, who has been Gibson’s first AD and Perski served as a 2nd AD. Even though Gibson didn’t produce, he obviously had his hands all over it. While people may not love to see his face lately, they’ve been more than willing to see his films, and he’s a damn good filmmaker regardless of how insane he might actually be.
This film reminds me of Payback quite a bit, a Gibson film I love, and I love the fact that both Gibson’s and the studio version of the film are out on disc now, it’s one of his better self effacing roles. I think Gibson knows this, and his plan is to slowly inch back into everyone’s heart, and if this film is good and dryly funny, it will put him in a great position to keep moving forward.
There’s also an interesting release planned by 20th Century Fox, who will put the film exclusively on DirecTV (at the $30 premium price they are charging for other first run films, I’d imagine) and then on general VOD and DVD and Blu Ray at a later date this year. So it’ll be a promoted DirecTV premiere of a first run film starring a major star, that isn’t released in theaters. I think many people imagine they’d go theatrical with enough success, but I think it might be more of an experiment in what money they can make with an exclusive as opposed to something in theaters as well, and move forward from there. We’ll see in May, I suppose. Check out the trailer below, looks like it could be funny and a little violent, a la Payback. Hopefully?