But in recent months, Visual Bible International, the Florida company for which Drabinsky coproduced his $10 million film, the Gospel of John, has been embroiled in headline-grabbing lawsuits by former officers amid reports of sagging sales and mounting debts. Drabinsky, 54, dismisses a recent lawsuit as "a joke" and blames Mel Gibson for stealing his thunder. "Obviously we were the flavor of the moment till The Passion took over," he says. "And it was kind of overwhelming."For a film with a British director and a British lead, I find it remarkable that it has still not been released in this country, either in cinemas or on video and DVD. There are ways of marketing these things! I'm not sure about the claim that The Passion had an adverse effect on this film. One could argue that the interest in that film generated a lot extra publicity at the time, and its release several months before The Passion gave it the chance for enthusiasts to get out and see it while ancipating the bigger film.
Now Drabinsky is negotiating a new video deal for his film. But in SEC filings last June, Visual Bible --formerly known as American Uranium--declared that if income didn't materialize, the company could be forced to close up shop. Still, Drabinsky shrugs off any suggestion of impending disaster. "In business careers, there are moments of soaring highs and deep lows," he says. "^You can't lose yourself over either. You have to stay the course."