By GABE FRIEDMAN – JTA
Shia LaBeouf and Mel Gibson will star in “Rothchild,” a dark comedy about New York’s super rich. LaBeouf plays Becket Rothchild, who was cast out from the family. As an adult, the charismatic Becket hatches a plan to get back into the family and claim his birthright.
On the way, he must infiltrate the weird and twisted lives of his super-rich kin including frat boys, hipster artists and reality TV stars. There are nine Rothchild family members who stand between him and his fortune including Whitelaw (Gibson), the family patriarch and villain of the piece.
Gibson infamously claimed in a drunken rant that Jews were responsible for “all the wars in the world,” and promoted antisemitic stereotypes in his 2004 blockbuster film “The Passion of the Christ.” Since then he has worked to get back into the Jewish community’s good graces, even donating to a Holocaust survivor aid project.
Members of the wealthy European Rothschild family are descendants of Mayer Amschel Rothschild, an 18th-century German banker whose five sons launched banking dynasties in London, Paris, Frankfurt, Vienna and Milan. They are often placed at the center of antisemitic conspiracy theories that claim Jews exert influence over many sectors of society, such as banking and the media.
A representative for actor Mel Gibson claimed in a statement Monday evening that the film was “completely unrelated” to the real-life Rothschilds.
Reports on the film did not mention if the family involved is actually Jewish or if the title is a nod to the Rothschilds in name only.
LaBeouf, who has a Jewish mother and had a bar mitzvah, has since converted to Christianity.