by James Killough
As an aspiring narcissist, I’m not one for watching sports unless it’s something I’ve practiced myself, which limits me to swimming and boxing. I am glued to the TV when the Olympics roll around for the former, and will watch the latter on the rare occasions I’m in a sports bar and it happens to be on. The third sport I’ve participated in from time to time and play reasonably well is a good ol’ film industry smackdown, and none was more amusing to watch than the epistolary dustup between Mel Gibson and writer Joe Eszterhas this week.
What happened is the highly overrated, long-standing joke Eszterhas—the screenwriter behind Basic Instinct, Flashdance and, most notoriously, Showgirls—mouthed off in a nine-page tell-all email to Gibson after Eszterhas’ script for The Untitled Maccabee Project was rejected by Warner Brothers. Of course, he leaked the email to the press, most notably to The Wrap, an industry website that appears to have taken his side, presumably in the hope of getting all of those “exclusives” from Eszterhas, which kept popping up as alerts on my BlackBerry as the whole silly saga unfolded.