Mel Gibson is to return to acting for the first time in six years in a feature adaptation of 80s BBC drama Edge of Darkness.

The Mad Max star has not topped the bill in front of the camera since Signs and We Were Soldiers in 2002, having concentrated on directing with The Passion Of The Christ in 2004 and Apocalypto in 2006.

But after Martin Campbell, director of the original television series, developed a cinematic version of the show with Graham King and William Monahan, the Oscar-winning producer and screenwriter of The Departed, Gibson has now committed to his first acting role in years, Variety reports.

The BAFTA-winning BBC miniseries featured Bob Peck as a policeman whose activist daughter is murdered in front of him.

When he delves deeper into the case, he uncovers a dense conspiracy of government intrigue and nuclear corruption.

According to Variety, Gibson is a long-time fan of the show and was receptive to King and Campbell's overtures.

The role in Edge of Darkness, which begins shooting in Boston in August, will represent the Braveheart star's first attempt to court public affections since his approval ratings declined after a drunk-driving arrest in 2006, following which he made anti-Semitic remarks.

Having had his drivers' licence suspended, received three years' probation and a $1,300 (£650) fine and ordered to attend alcohol education classes and a three-month alcohol education programme, he later described the incident as a "moment of insanity".

29/04/2008 10:21:00