x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Gibson guest spot cancelled

The controversial actor Mel Gibson has been dropped from Hangover 2 – a move for which he may come to be grateful.

Mel Gibson has been dropped from a promised cameo role. Matt Saykes / AP Photo
Mel Gibson has been dropped from a promised cameo role. Matt Saykes / AP Photo

Mel Gibson's battered image has taken another blow after his cameo on The Hangover 2 was cancelled amid reports of a revolt among his potential co-stars.

Gibson, 54, has been something of a Hollywood pariah since the leak of threatening phone calls he made to his former girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva. The Mad Max star's career first began to wobble with his drink-driving conviction in 2006, when he launched into a misogynistic, racist tirade against arresting officers. He later blamed the incident on his alcoholism.

His Hangover 2 spot was being seen as a comeback role after his agent had dropped him, and his new film, The Beaver, to be directed by Jodie Foster, had been shelved.

The Hangover, which chronicles a bachelor party's degeneration over a lost weekend, grossed $500 million (Dh1.84 billion) last year. The follow-up will reprise these antics in a catastrophic trip to Bangkok.

Its star, Zach Galifianakis, went on radio recently voicing moral objections to Gibson's appearance, but his fastidiousness has raised eyebrows. He was happy to act alongside the heavyweight boxer and convicted rapist Mike Tyson in the original, in which his character was punched in the face by Tyson (playing himself) after stealing his pet tiger.

The Love Actually star Liam Neeson has now been lined up to replace Gibson, who is meanwhile mooted to appear in the television phenomenon Mad Men. Perhaps he can take solace in this latest setback to his rehabilitation. The role involved playing a "crazy", "intense" tattoo artist, described as "someone you're afraid to talk to".

The decision may have spared him further ignominy. The last thing he needed, say some, was another hangover.