How the Writer of Showgirls Ended Up Working on a Bible Epic for Mel Gibson

Here’s something most people probably don’t know about Joe Eszterhas that perhaps explains why he would spend so much time and effort to write a script about the Maccabees for Mel Gibson: In 2008 the controversial screenwriter published Crossbearer, a memoir describing his conversion to Christianity and his personal transformation over the last decade.

Here’s Publisher’s Weekly’s take:

Followers of provocative screenwriter (Basic Instinct, Flashdance, Showgirls) and author (Hollywood Animal, American Rhapsody) Eszterhas may do a double-take when they see his entertaining new memoir branded with a cross, and a triple-take when they see he means it. In 2001, 56-year-old Eszterhas, recently moved to Ohio with his wife and four sons, was diagnosed with throat cancer, and ordered to end immediately all smoking and drinking-a near-impossible task for the 44-year abuser. Afterward, literally wandering the streets of Vegas, Eszterhas collapses on a curb, opens his heart, and God “saves him”-to no one’s greater surprise than his own. As he struggles with his illness, addictions and guilt, Eszterhas draws strength from faith and learns about life with God, revisiting some misadventures from his drug-fueled Hollywood years. Though Eszterhas now claims faith and family the most important things in his life, the book is focused squarely on Eszterhas; early on, he discovers his church’s Father Bob was inspired “to follow his dream” by a line in Flashdance, “and now, as a priest, he had inspired me in turn to love God.” Still, Eszterhas’s journey is inspiring and his tough-guy sense of humor reamins intact, though fans may find it hard to follow the author of The Devil’s Guide to Hollywood into the arms of a loving God.

I just put a hold on the book at the library and will report back if I discover anything interesting.

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