The screenwriter who co-wrote The Passion of the Christ is suing Mel Gibson, saying the filmmaker cheated him out of his fair share of the movie’s $600 million worldwide gross. Benedict Fitzgerald said he accepted a “relatively small salary,” along with two $75,000 bonuses, instead of asking for more because Gibson assured him The Passion would be a low-budget labor of love. (E! Online)
What the commentators said
Fitzgerald claims Gibson promised him the film would be his “personal gift to his faith,” said Bridget Daly in the Hollyscoop blog. He must not have know that Gibson is more than a devout Catholic—he’s a “margarita-slugging” movie mogul out to make “zillions” on this film. But Fitzgerald needs to “seriously get with it”—he’s only suing for $5 million, so he “needs to up that price.”
Maybe Gibson isn't the greedy one here, said Howard Breuer in People.com. Gibson’s attorney says that Fitzgerald “was handsomely compensated” for his work, and received as much as any writer gets even for big-budget blockbusters.
Still, it’s a tad “ironic,” said the blog Dotspotter, that the “most pious film in the history of the world” would end with Gibson being accused of ripping off “a fellow Christian.”