First Look At Mel Gibson’s Beaver

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Pretty near the top of my most-anticipated list is Jodie Foster‘s next directorial effort, The Beaver. She’s put together an interesting cast with Jennifer Lawrence, Anton Yelchin and Mel Gibson who is starring as a somewhat stressed fellow who decides to communicate only via a Beaver glove puppet that he found in the trash. The real reason I’m excited, however, is that Kyle Killen’s screenplay is brake-slammingly awesome and definitely deserved its spot atop the 2008 Black List of the best unproduced screenplays in Hollywood.

Some more images of the Gibson/glove puppet double act after the break.

Explaining the film’s premise previously I said:

[The lead role is] Walter, troubled father and husband and CEO of a stalling toy company [who gives voice to] The Beaver, a glove pupper that Walter finds, starts to wear without pause, and adopts as a kind of avatar through which he carries out all of his communication. Almost all of the dialogue given to the lead actor throughout the entire screenplay will have to come from the Beaver, and be delivered in what Killen describes as a “crisp English accent”.

These pictures are still leaving me unconvinced of Gibson’s casting, but they’ve sold me pretty solidly on the design of the puppet. Killen’s script introduces him like this:

ANGLE ON the garbage reveals a half buried BEAVER PUPPET, its large plastic eyes staring out from under some refuse. Walter squints, then reaches for it. It turns out to have a large bushy tail and big happy grin. He holds it up. He and the beaver seem to stare blankly at one another for a long time, as if each reading a story in the other’s eyes.

It seems endearingly ratty in these snaps. Can anybody out there tell us who designed it? I must stress that it really is the lead character in the film so the look and physical characterisation is crucial, and I’m thoroughly relieved that it seems to be such a great design from these images.

The following pictures were snapped yesterday during the film’s New York location shoot and you can see the rest of them at Gossip Center. They come from a scene that doesn’t even fill two lines in the screenplay.

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