august 01, 2015
THE Northern Rivers may play host to an all-star cast of Hollywood celebrities, with Mel Gibson planning to film his latest film in NSW.
Hacksaw Ridge will be the true story of Second World War army medic Desmond Doss, who served in the Battle of Okinawa and was America's first conscientious objector to win a Congressional Medal of Honour.
Gibson and Deputy Premier Troy Grant on Thursday announced the film would be shot in Sydney and parts of "regional NSW", but were tight-lipped on the actual locations.
"I can't think of a better place to shoot this film than here in Sydney and NSW, where I was fortunate to have grown up and started my career," Gibson said.
"The support from the NSW government has been overwhelming in ensuring the best production value possible."
The Oscar-winning actor and director's latest film will star Andrew Garfield alongside Sam Worthington and Vince Vaughan.
The NSW Government has promised to invest an undisclosed figure into the production that Mr Grant said would bring 720 jobs and $26 million in investment to the state.
"We're not giving money to Mel Gibson, we're giving it to an outstanding production," Mr Grant said.
"We're giving it back to NSW through the production of a film here.
"The money is going to those workers and those cameramen and the gofers and all the people involved in the production of this movie ... this is not a cheque that's going into Mel Gibson's wallet."
Gibson promised to "make a five-star flick" in NSW.
"The move is quite inspirational. It's about a man who wouldn't touch a weapon and yet wanted to be part of saving lives in the worst place on Earth," he said.
"Okinawa... I think more life was lost in that Pacific battle than in any other Pacific battle.
"They were all bad but there were over 300,000 casualties."
Pre-production has already begun, with the film to be released in 2017.