A Mexican filmmaker has accused Mel Gibson of stealing scenes for new drama APOCALYPTO from a little-known 1989 movie.
Gibson's epic, which is set in the Mayan civilisation and told in an obscure Mayan language, opened with $14.2 million (GBP7.2 million) to claim top spot in the US box office over the weekend (08-10DEC06).
However, the movie's success has been marred by claims from director JUAN CATLETT that Gibson copied key scenes from RETURN TO AZTLAN for the movie.
Catlett alleges Gibson's production manager was given a copy of his movie - about the fall of an ancient Mexican empire - for just 100 pesos ($9.22/GBP4.73).
He says, "There are images very similar to those in my film.
"It seems my movie served as a consultancy and a reference - and they only paid me 100 pesos."