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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 July 2005, 08:33 GMT 09:33 UK
Mel Gibson filming historic epic
Mel Gibson
Director Gibson has kept the plot of new movie Apocalypto secret
Actor Mel Gibson will direct another historical epic which, like past film The Passion of the Christ, will have characters using an ancient language.

Apocalypto will be set 500 years in the past in Central America with characters speaking an obscure Mayan dialect.

Gibson will fund the movie, just as he did for The Passion - which took $370m (212m) at the US box office.

Filming is due to begin in October for the film's planned release next summer, to be distributed by Disney in the US.

'Unique adventure'

Gibson will not appear in Apocalypto, a title taken from the Greek word for an unveiling or new beginning, and the film's plot has been kept secret.

The actor's spokesman Alan Nierob said it was a "unique adventure" but added: "He lets his work speak for itself."

The Passion of the Christ
The Passion of the Christ used Aramaic dialogue with subtitles
Hollywood industry magazine Variety reported that the film would feature a cast of unknowns native to an area of Mexico where the film would be shot.

Gibson was expected to have his English script translated into Mayan before releasing the movie with English subtitles, as he did with The Passion's Aramaic dialogue.

The controversial film detailed the last 12 hours in life of Jesus Christ leading up to a brutal depiction of the crucifixion.

It prompted much debate on whether it was anti-Semitic in blaming ancient Jewish people for killing Christ.

Gibson denied anti-Semitism, saying he has tried to stick to the story as told in the Bible and his film highlighted Christ's "huge" sacrifice.

His spokesman said he had put on hold what was to be his next acting project - the drama Under and Alone for King Arthur director Antoine Fuqua.

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