Controversial Polish cleric Father Henryk Jankowski, the former top chaplain of the anti-Communist Solidarity trade union, early this week said he wants Hollywood star Mel Gibson to film his life story.
In an interview published in the right-wing daily Dziennik, 70-year-old Jankowski said Gibson was well-placed to direct his biopic.
Gibson is ?a great man and an honest Catholic,? Jankowski said.
?He?s also a distinguished artist. His ?Passion? was a real masterpiece. We have never met face to face, but the opportunity is coming up,? Jankowski added, noting that he planned a meeting with Gibson in September.
The Henryk Jankowski Institute, founded and run by the cleric?s colleagues, is meanwhile planning to launch a range of Jankowski T-shirts, cigarette-lighters and other gadgets to help finance a potential film.
Jankowski, who stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the opposition Solidarity movement in the 1980s, has regularly sparked controversy over the past two decades with his violently anti-Communist rhetoric and what critics charge are anti-Semitic remarks.
He is also known as a lover of luxury, and for his commercial interests.
Jankowski markets a brand of wine called Monsignore — he is pictured on its label — and is planning to open a chain of bars across Poland.
His views and lifestyle led the archbishop of Gdansk, the northern port which is Jankowski?s stamping ground, to fire him in 2004 from his longstanding job as rector of the city?s renowned St. Brigid?s parish.
Gibson, who is a fundamentalist Catholic, has himself courted controversy.
He stirred heated debate in the U.S. and abroad because of the alleged anti-Semitism and excessive violence of his 2004 blockbuster ?The Passion of the Christ.?
His reputation was left in tatters last year following an anti-Semitic tirade launched at a Jewish police officer when he was arrested for drunk driving in Los Angeles. Gibson later apologized for the outburst.
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