Knowing full well that very few movie stars have a more toxic image than The Beaver star Mel Gibson, Summit Entertainment and Participant Media are trying to spin the South by Southwest premiere of Jodie Foster‘s new film (which will screen here on Wednesday night) with a “social action” campaign meant to highlight the various pitfalls and possible remedies for mental illness. What, Mad Mel’s? No — mental illness in general.
The press release reads, “As [The Beaver] depicts the devastating effects of mental illness on one family, Participant designed the Social Action Campaign to provide audiences with tools, resources and opportunities to heal the pain of those suffering from mental illnesses and their families and friends,” and blah blah.
It also promises that “on 3.17 at Lambert’s Downtown Barbecue in Austin, an afternoon celebration of the Social Action Campaign for The Beaver will take place,” and that musical headliners will include Pepper Rabbit and Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers. The Beaver director/star Jodie Foster and co-star Anton Yelchin will also take the stage.
So Gibson isn’t going to show up in Austin, or has Summit/Participant simply decided not to announce his intention to do so in their press release? If he appears, it’ll be a circus. If he doesn’t appear, it’ll be a bigger circus.
The Beaver will open on May 6th.