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Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster

INFdaily.com; AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi

Leonardo DiCaprio may be pulling out of Mel Gibson's next directing gig, but Jodie Foster isn't shying away from the embattled Hollywood star.

Sources tell me she fully expects a theatrical release of The Beaver, the dramedy she directed about a man (Gibson) who develops a friendship with a hand puppet. Foster also costars in the flick.

While Foster is still working on the final cut of the film, she can't be too far from finishing because…

Earlier today, the Motion Picture Association of America handed The Beaver a PG-13 rating for "mature thematic material, some disturbing content, sexuality and language including a drug reference."

However, Summit (the studio behind the movie) has yet to decide on a release date. "It's probably not going to be something like two years from now, but they're not sure if it will be this year or next year," a source said, adding, "Jodie is committed to this movie."

Foster has kept mum about the movie and how her longtime pal's turbulent private life will affect it. As we first reported, the movie has apparently already recouped its $20 million budget through foreign sales.

Reps for Foster and Summit did not comment.

Follow Marc Malkin on Twitter.

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Hollywood's latest scandal-ridden actor lets his loony show in the Mel Gibson's Crazy Faces photo gallery!