Poster, Synopsis, and Trailer for The Beaver Starring Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster
12.05.10 by BJSprecher
After Summit Entertainment put the release of The Beaver on hold following the scandal surrounding the movie's lead, Academy Award-winner Mel Gibson, this summer, it was unclear what would become of the black comedy directed by and co-starring Academy Award-winner Jodie Foster. Neophyte writer Kyle Killen's screenplay for The Beaver, about a formerly successful toy executive (Gibson) who uses a hand puppet to help him reconnect with friends and family after falling into a deep depression, has been lauded for years, even landing atop the 2008 Black List for best unproduced screenplays. However, despite a strong screenplay, and even with Foster's description of Gibson's performance as "one of his most powerful and moving performances," Summit pulled The Beaver from its December release and did not submit it to the Academy for consideration. Apparently, Summit feels that the controversy surrounding Gibson has died down sufficiently to take The Beaver out of its holding pattern because the movie has been slated for a Spring 2011 release, and a wealth of promotion materials for the movie have recently been released, including a new theatrical poster, a detailed synoposis and the first trailer for the movie.
Here's the spoiler-filled synopsis for The Beaver from the 2010 American Film Market, the annual movie production and distribution convention:
Walter Black (Mel Gibson) is suffering from extreme depression. As he spends most of his days sleeping or trying different methods of self therapy, his wife Meredith (Jodie Foster) hides behind work and helplessly watches him fall apart; his youngest son Henry (Riley Thomas Stewart) becomes a hermit; his oldest son Porter (Anthon Yelchin) writes his classmate’s essays for cash and secretly keeps a list of similarities between him and his father to avoid a similar future; and Walter’s toy company heads toward bankruptcy. Walter soon hits bottom when Meredith kicks him out of the house, and he decides to get drunk and kill himself. The suicide attempt goes awry, and upon waking up, Walter is introduced to “the Beaver”—a beaver puppet he had found in the trash and put on his hand during his drinking binge—who suddenly speaks to him, in a British accent. With the help of the Beaver (a facet of Walter’s personality), Walter gets a new lease on life and returns home. Everything begins to work out wonderfully—he reconnects with Henry through a new hobby in woodworking, the Beaver helps him to woo back Meredith, and the Beaver takes over as CEO and revives the toy company. The only holdout is Porter, who believes Walter has gone crazy and instead continues his list and works on writing a graduation speech for popular cheerleader and valedictorian Norah (Jennifer Lawrence).
Life seems to be getting better for the Black family until the Beaver takes complete control of Walter’s life. He makes a public appearance on national television and eventually drives Meredith and Porter away. Hand puppets explode in popularity and the toy company thrives, but Walter begins to see that his life is no longer his own, especially without his family. When he tries to release himself from the Beaver, he realizes that the Beaver can no longer be controlled. Walter finally takes drastic measures to reclaim his life, and after building a little coffin for the Beaver, he turns the table saw onto himself. Meanwhile, Porter’s own life has fallen apart; his friendship with Norah ends and his essay business is exposed and leads to his college admission getting rescinded. Porter decides to confront Walter, only to find his father in the garage, finally separated from the Beaver. Later, Walter recovers in a psychiatric hospital. Porter shows Walter the beautiful graduation speech he had written for Norah and finally voices his fears about turning into Walter and whether depression and suicide will be inevitable for him one day. Walter believes that Porter will make his own life. Porter, Meredith, and Henry soon welcome Walter home and in return, Walter sees Porter off for his road trip with Norah, leaving Walter at peace with his life and family at last.