Gibson's next historical epic, Apocalypto, was released to theaters on December 8, 2006. The film is set in Mesoamerica, during the period immediately before the Spanish conquest. It focuses on the decline of the Maya civilization which reached its zenith around 600 AD. Dialogue is spoken in the Yucatec Maya language. It features a cast of unknown actors from Mexico City, the Yucat√°n, and some Native Americans from the United States.

While Gibson financed the film himself, Disney released it in specific markets.

The film is set against the turbulent end times of the once great Maya civilization.

The title is a Greek term which means "an unveiling" or "new beginning", but the movie is not religiously themed or connected to the biblical Apocalypse.

Gibson pre-screened Apocalypto to two predominantly Native American audiences in Oklahoma, at the Riverwind Casino in Goldsby, owned by the Chickasaw Nation, and at Cameron University in Lawton.

Gibson is currently considering directing a film taking place in Panama shortly after the era of Apocalypto about the first Europeans to see the Pacific Ocean.

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