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Hanukkah projects face off

Mel Gibson and reality producer Bruce Nash prep two competing Maccabee features

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Mel Gibson‘s rep confirmed last month that the filmmaker and Warner Bros. are developing a movie — to the chagrin of Jewish groups like the Anti-Defamation League — about the ancient Jewish hero Judah Maccabee, whose revolt against the Seleucid Empire is celebrated each year during Hanukkah. But Gibson has some competition: Reality TV producer Bruce Nash (Modern Marvels) has been fostering his own Maccabee project since 2007. And unlike Gibson, he has a completed script, by Scott Abbott (Introducing Dorothy Dandridge). ”When the Gibson project was announced, I knew I had to accelerate my efforts,” says Nash, who’s currently searching for financing. ”If you’re not first, then that’s the end of it.”