Ten years after his career began to fall apart over inflammatory comments made during an arrest for drunk driving, Mel Gibson finally seems poised for a comeback.
The Oscar winner's first directing effort since 2006, "Hacksaw Ridge," about a conscientious objector in World War II, is drawing Oscar-level praise from critics. His career as an actor is also heating up. And, according to The Hollywood Reporter, agencies are jockeying to represent him.
At the time, reaction to his comments in Hollywood was swift, with agent Ari Emanuel dumping him as a client and imploring the industry to not "allow Mel Gibson to get away with such tragically inflammatory statements."
His film, "Apocalypto," which he directed, bombed four months later amid the fallout.
Although Gibson later apologized for what he called "despicable behavior" and sought counseling, it seemed impossible to move on from the incident in Hollywood.
"It keeps coming up like a rerun, but I've dealt with it and I've dealt with it responsibly and I've worked on myself for anything I am culpable for," he told The Hollywood Reporter two years ago. "All the necessary mea culpas have been made copious times. So for this question to keep coming up, it's kind of like ... I'm sorry they feel that way, but I've done what I need to do."
After 10 years, it seems Hollywood may be finally ready to forgive him.
Producer David Permut teamed up with Gibson to make "Hacksaw Ridge," which will be released next month, after first getting to know him.
"Believe me, there were conversations I had with people who were questioning me about going down the path with Mel," Permut, who is gay and Jewish, told The Hollywood Reporter in a recent interview. "But he's not the person some people interpret him to be on the surface. Ask anyone involved with this film -- above the line, below the line -- they all revered him. The crew would lay in front of the tracks for Mel. It was an amazing experience and a learning experience for me because I got to know the man whom I never really knew."
The star is currently in Ireland filming "The Professor and the Madman" opposite Sean Penn. He was recently spotted at the summit of Ireland's Great Sugarloaf Mountain, and a photo of him with some hikers went viral.
Meanwhile, Gibson's personal life is also looking up. He's expecting his ninth child with writer Rosalind Ross, his girlfriend of two years.