Actor-director Mel Gibson is well on his way to cornering a new niche market in Hollywood – movies written in ancient languages.
A year after breaking box-office records with “The Passion of the Christ,” which was shot in Aramaic, Latin and Hebrew, Gibson has struck a deal with the Walt Disney Co. to release his next picture in a Mayan dialect.
Gibson is due to begin shooting the film, titled “Apocalypto,” on location in Mexico in October and is aiming for a summer 2006 release, spokesman Alan Nierob said on Monday.
As with “Passion,” Gibson will direct and produce the Mayan-language film from his own script through his own company, Icon Productions, and he will not appear in the movie.
The film’s cast will consist of unknown performers native to the region of Mexico where the film is being shot, Nierob said. Few others details about Gibson’s project were revealed.
The story, which Gibson began writing nine months ago, is described as a “unique adventure” set 500 years in the past. Nierob said the title, “Apocalypto,” was taken from the Greek word for an unveiling or new beginning.
A note on the first page of the script says: “The dialogue you are about to read will not be spoken in English.” Gibson presumably will have the script translated into Mayan by a scholar of the language and release the film with English subtitles, as he did for “Passion.”