The cinema isn’t ready to say goodbye to Mel Gibson just yet, as a handful of recent developments suggest that the once-bankable actor will have much healthier prospects overseas.

Gibson’s name is being attached to Sleight of Hand, the Paris-based ensemble heist comedy that already has lured Kiefer Sutherland, Gerard Depardieu and Thomas Jane. Variety says the story follows an inept team of burglars who inadvertently steal a coin that belongs to a vicious gangster. Hand, which will be directed by Brad Mirman, would begin filming in France in July.

A European shoot sounds right up Gibson’s alley. The former A-lister’s tabloid-fueling outbursts have turned him into persona non grata in the States -- his latest picture, Jodie Foster’s The Beaver, was aggressively ignored by American moviegoers, earning only $330,796 since opening in limited release on May 6. But Gibson and the film received a warm greeting from European audience members at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this week, suggesting that Gibson could find new life in a new setting.

But Hand also sounds like a wise choice for Gibson because it would allow him to blend in with an ensemble instead of asking him to carry a film on his own. I don’t think Gibson’s finished with acting. I also don’t think audiences are completely finished with Gibson. But the actor-director needs to continue to make smart choices as he rebuilds his career, and ensemble work in a foreign country might be the wisest decision he can make at this point.

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