Cannes Insiders Expect Mel Gibson to Visit Festival with 'The Beaver'

2:38 PM PST 04/29/2011 by Rebecca Leffler, Gregg Kilday
Summit Entertainment

An appearance would put the actor back in the international spotlight.

Mel Gibson is expected to step back into the international spotlight when his new movie The Beaver plays the Festival de Cannes in an Out of Competition slot on May 17.

But with the festival quickly approaching, there's still a lingering question whether the embattled star will actually attend the movie's international premiere.

Thierry Desmichelle, CEO of SND, the film's French distributor, confirmed on Friday that "Mel Gibson is coming to Cannes." But a spokesman for the actor responded that Gibson currently has no plans to attend, although he didn't rule it out, saying that the Gibson currently has schedule conflicts which he is trying to work out.

REVIEW: The Beaver

Early last year, Gibson began to re-engage with the press, meeting with international journalists in Spain and France when his last film Edge of Darkness opened around the world in January and February. But in July, in the midst of a bitter custody dispute with his ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva, tapes in which he unleashed a torrent of sexist and racist rants became public, and since the, Gibson has mostly kept his distance from the media.

While he did not attend The Beaver's world premiere at the South by Southwest Film Festival in March, he has since begun to do select interviews. Earlier this week, for example, he appeared at a press conference held by the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.

In The Beaver, directed by his friend Jodie Foster, Gibson plays a depressed man who can only communicate through a beaver puppet.

"He's extraordinary in the movie. He's always been a good actor, but in this movie he's extraordinary," Desmichelle said.

Of course, when it comes to attending a high-profile festival like Cannes, Hollywood stars can sometimes change their plans at that last minute. And while a Gibson appearance is not yet guaranteed, should he appear on the red carpet it won't come as a surprise, either.

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