Mel Gibson has committed to star in Edge of Darkness, marking his first starring role in a feature film since he headlined Signs and We Were Soldiers in 2002.
Martin Campbell will direct the feature adaptation of the six-hour 1985 BBC miniseries, which Campbell also helmed.
William Monahan wrote the script, and Graham King is producing through his GK Films banner. Michael Wearing, who produced the original, will also produce, and the BBC will be involved in a producing capacity.
Campbell, who last directed Casino Royale, developed the project and brought it to King a year ago. He enlisted Monahan for a page one rewrite; the scribe worked with King on The Departed. King is self-financing the project and is committed to an August production start in Boston. It is unclear whether he will fully finance through production or enlist a studio.
Gibson will play a straitlaced police investigator whose activist daughter is killed. He plunges into the case and uncovers systemic corruption that led to his daughter’s death.
Gibson had long been a fan of the mini and was receptive when King and Campbell approached him several months ago.
Before Signs and We Were Soldiers, Gibson starred in 2000’s What Women Want and The Patriot. Subsequently, he concentrated on directing, with The Passion of the Christ in 2004 and Apocalypto in 2006.
While Gibson has stayed under the radar after controversy sparked when he made anti-Semitic comments to a police officer during a DUI arrest in Malibu, he has continued to be offered acting vehicles, and he came close to accepting on several occasions, including Under and Alone, a fact-based drama still in development at Warner Bros.
At a time when supposedly proven stars aren’t translating to opening weekends, films that Gibson starred in and directed have grossed north of $5 billion worldwide.