Newsbites: The Benedict Fitzgerald edition!

1. Benedict Fitzgerald may be making progress in his lawsuit against Mel Gibson. A judge has ordered Gibson to appear for a deposition by mid-January, to discuss how he spent his money while making The Passion of the Christ (2004). Fitzgerald, a screenwriter, says he was underpaid for the work that he did on Gibson’s film, and he says Gibson engaged in a “chronic and conspiratorial pattern of deceit” when it came to discussing the movie’s finances with him. Gibson, for his part, says he can’t afford to give a deposition because it would interrupt the production of his next film, Edge of Darkness. — Associated Press, WENN (x2)

2. Mary, Mother of the Christ — a project that Fitzgerald sold to MGM nearly two years ago — is moving along quite well, according to co-writer Barbara Nicolosi. In a blog post today, she said the film “is going ahead in a very graced way. The financing seems to have come together in the last week. A director is attached and it’s out to talent and a shooting date is on the calendar for March.” — Barbara Nicolosi

About Peter T. Chattaway

Peter T. Chattaway was the regular film critic for BC Christian News from 1992 to 2011. In addition to his award-winning film column for that paper, his news and opinion pieces have appeared in such publications as Books & Culture, Christianity Today, Bible Review and the Vancouver Sun. He has also contributed essays to the books Re-Viewing The Passion: Mel Gibson’s Film and Its Critics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), Scandalizing Jesus?: Kazantzakis’s The Last Temptation of Christ Fifty Years on (Continuum, 2005) and The Bible in Motion: A Handbook of the Bible and Its Reception in Film (De Gruyter, 2016).