Controversial director Mel Gibson is in negotiations with film company NEWMARKET FILMS over the distributions rights to his upcoming epic The Passion OF CHRIST.

The Mad Max actor had been struggling to find a major studio that would agree to take on the new film, which is already the subject of fierce debate ahead of its release.

According to reports, Gibson has inked a deal which allows his company ICON PRODUCTIONS to retain the rights but pay Newmarket a percentage of the profits in exchange for domestic distribution.

Neither Gibson or Newmarket would confirm or deny reports of the deal, which trade paper VARIETY say is as good as signed.

23/10/2003 02:00