'Edge of Darkness" is directed by Martin Campbell, who is best known for reinventing James Bond with the 2006 success of "Casino Royale." He said the script called for an actor old enough to have a 24-year-old daughter who also possessed a ferocity. The list of big stars that fit the bill was exactly one name long.

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"There was nobody else," the New Zealand-born filmmaker said. "I liken Mel to the old Hollywood stars like Robert Mitchum, Lee Marvin, William Holden, people like that, and we've got none of them now, do we? Everyone now is so lightweight. Even George Clooney, who is a terrific actor, he's too polished. Mel has this masculine kind of emotional weight that others don't. Possibly Russell Crowe, but he's too young for this role. Eastwood is gone [from acting] and Harrison Ford, he's got the grit, but he doesn't have the menace or the power."

Campbell said the movie wouldn't have been made without Gibson in the lead, but he also conceded there was discussion about the star's standing with the public. "Obviously, we discussed the controversies, and then we dismissed it. We felt lucky to get him. It never came up again." - Los Angeles Times