Just when we thought Mel Gibson might have exited the “rage-o-holic crazybags rumors” phase of his career, yesterday came word that his latest film project, a biopic about the Old Testament warrior hero Judah Maccabee, had fallen apart — and out of that mess came a letter from the movie’s would-be screenwriter, Joe Eszterhas, that paints a picture of Gibson as a guy who’s angry at… well, pretty much everyone, including John Lennon.

Eszterhas’ nine-page letter, currently making the paparazzi rounds, is mainly of interest to film buffs and people who get off on public meltdowns. But it does contain one tidbit that should raise the eyebrows of a few classic rock fans: an excerpt containing Gibson’s thoughts on slain Beatle Lennon, which are unkind to say the least.

“I’m glad he’s dead,” Eszterhas claims Gibson said. “He deserved to be shot. He was f—ing messianic. Listen to his songs! ’Imagine.’ I hate that f—ing song. I’m glad he’s dead.”

Gibson has refuted Eszterhas’ allegations, responding in a letter of his own that says “the great majority of the facts as well as the statements and actions attributed to me in your letter are utter fabrications” and accuses him of derailing the project with a substandard script. “Not only was the script delivered later than you promised, both Warner Brothers and I were extraordinarily disappointed with the draft,” wrote Gibson. “In 25 years of script development I have never seen a more substandard first draft or a more significant waste of time.”

So there you have it — a classic case of Hollywood he-said / he-said. We’ll probably never know the truth, but if you ask us, Gibson always seemed like more of a Stones guy anyway.