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august 01, 2015
Mel Gibson has announced his new film 'Hacksaw Ridge', starring Andrew Garfield and Vince Vaughn, will be shot in NSW.
Hacksaw Ridge is based on the real-life story of American soldier Desmond Doss, a conscientious objector who is sent to the front lines during WWII but refuses to carry a weapon.
Directed by Mel Gibson, the war movie will star Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spider-Man, Never Let Me Go) as Doss.
According to Deadline, Vince Vaughn has recently joined the cast which also includes Sam Worthington.
Vaughn will play Sergeant Howell who is tasked with training new recruits in South Carolina before they are sent to fight in Okinawa, Japan. On his hands is a soldier who refuses to kill, putting his life at risk to evacuate 75 wounded without defending himself.
Hacksaw Ridge, which is expected to start filming across NSW in September, is Gibson's first directing effort in a decade - and his first Australian film in more than 30 years.
Gibson was born in the United States but moved to Sydney when he was 12, studying at the National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA) and treading the boards in local theatres before he shot to fame with Mad Max in 1979.
He has also gained notoriety of late thanks to several highly-publicised meltdowns, including an arrest and an anti-Semitic drunken tirade in 2006, but is now looking forward to stepping back behind the camera.
Hacksaw Ridge will mark Gibson's first directorial effort since that year with Apocalypto.
Gibson has said he "couldn't be more pleased".
"I'm so glad to be here again, working here again, bumping into people I've known for years, decades, again... and moving forward - it's been great," Gibson told reporters at Sydney's Fox Studios on Thursday.
"I kicked off over 35 years ago here (and) I feel like I've picked up the thread where I left off since last I worked here."
The story is inspirational, Gibson said.
"It's about a man who wouldn't touch a weapon and wanted to be part of saving lives in the worst place on earth. I mean Okinawa was an horrific place... there were over 300,000 casualties, mostly civilian."
The film is a bit of a coup for NSW according to the state government, which predicts it will generate more than 700 jobs and inject more than $26 million into Sydney and regional NSW.
With Australia's world-class crews and actors, Gibson says they'll produce a "five-star flick here".
"We'll see if we can dispatch this and bring home the bacon," he said.
"Just not for ourselves but for the state - and give people even more reasons to come here and work."
Hacksaw Ridge is expected to be completed in the second half of 2016. Australian writer Andrew Knight and Pulitzer Prize Winner Robert Schenkkan have written the screenplay. Bill Mechanic, Paul Currie and Gibson's business partner at Icon Bruce Davey will produce the film