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The Beaver, Jodie Foster, Mel Gibson

2009 Summit Entertainment LLC

UPDATE Feb. 8, 2011: Due in part to scheduling conflicts with director Jodie Foster (she's in France starring in the new Roman Polanski film Carnage) and costar Jennifer Lawrence (she's shooting X-Men: First Class), Summit has pushed back the release to May 6. The film will expand to more theaters on May 20.

Despite the delay, The Beaver is still set to make its world premiere March 16 at the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin.

Are you ready for the maybe-comeback of Mel Gibson?

After much thinking and plotting, Summit Entertainment has finally announced a release date for is movie-in-a-holding-pattern The Beaver.

The Jodie Foster-directed flick about a man (Gibson) who befriends a hand puppet will have a limited opening on March 23 with an expanded release on April 8.

The movie, which also costars Foster and Jennifer Lawrence (Winter's Bone), has been in limbo because of, well, you know—Gibson's very messy and trouble-filled personal life.

Foster told me back in October the movie was finished, but she was "waiting" for a release date.

There has been talk of debuting the film at a festival in Europe. No word if that will actually happen.

As for Gibson doing press for the movie, I'm told, no surprise, all major news outlets are after him, especially the morning shows. A rep for the Oscar winner said it was too early to say what they have planned.

(Originally published Dec. 16, 2010, at 6:36 a.m. PT)