For all of the doom-saying and matter-of-fact proclamations that the film would certainly be shelved following Gibson’s latest explosion of personal problems, The Beaver marches on. Sure, the date for the film’s release was vague for quite some time, but if there’s any film whose subject matter would allow it to ride the wave of controversy with some success, it’s the one in which Gibson plays humorously crazy. So the film will debut in late March/early April with just the right amount of distance from the event to take the edge off without totally losing the meta-irony of the whole situation. The release is a platformer, with the March 23rd opening being a limited debut, with expansions starting April 8th.
The first image from the film debuted earlier in the month, shortly followed by the trailer, which I’ve embedded below if you haven’t caught it. Our own Sam Strange did a nice examination of the trailer that you can read right here.
Mel Gibson can still be great when he’s energized, and while The Beaver looks cute (often used phrase!), there’s nothing about it that seems particularly brilliant. The meta-textual element of it could be interesting (though kind of cheap), but it was written and shot before this kerfuffle, so I can’t imagine there’s much in the way of soul-bearing honesty, or evidence of Gibson actually working out his demons on screen. If he was, it certainly didn’t work. Which brings us to the possibility that a maybe solid, ultimately light comedy will still end up overshadowed by the star’s personal drama. That’s probably the most likely result, and a real shame for all involved. Best of luck Jodie.