For the first time since 2002, actor Mel Gibson will be the lead actor in a new movie. Gibson has signed on to star in Edge of Darkness, a crime thriller based on a 1985 BBC miniseries.

Mel Gibson, Rory Culkin, Abigail Breslin, and Joaquin Phoenix in 'Signs' 

Gibson will play a straight-arrow police investigator who uncovers government corruption while investigating the death of his daughter, a political activist.

The film will be set in Boston and will be directed by Martin Campbell (Casino Royale, The Mask of Zorro, Goldeneye) from a screenplay by William Monahan (The Departed, Kingdom of Heaven).

It will be Gibson’s first starring role since 2002, when he appeared in Signs and We Were Soldiers.

Hollywood insiders will be interested in seeing whether Gibson’s box office appeal as an actor remains strong after his widely publicized incident of two years ago when he made caustic, anti-Semitic remarks to police officers who had arrested him for drunken driving. Gibson apologized publicly for the incident, met with Jewish leaders for reconciliation, and entered treatment for alcoholism.

Audiences will undoubtedly just be looking for a good movie and will run out to see it if it’s a quality film.