september 28, 2015
Gibson has been in adopted home Sydney for the last two months while preparing to shoot Hacksaw Ridge, a World War II drama based on the true story of conscientious objector Desmond T Doss.
The 59-year-old was not seen on Monday as filming began in the coastal city’s western suburbs, where the action appeared to centre on a makeshift army assault course.
Instead, a gathering of cameramen and production assistants assembled equipment prior to shooting the exterior scene with a large group of actors dressed in period US regimental attire.
Army marquees and tents were also seen ranged around the large set alongside a variety of jeeps and cars reflective of the forthcoming film’s 1940s setting.
As filming commenced, the uniform clad actors raced over a series of roughly hewn wooden obstacles while shooting the potentially pivotal assault course scene.
Elsewhere an extra could be seen idling on a period bicycle, while others rested in the shade during a break between takes.
Hacksaw Ridge will be Gibson’s fifth directorial offering after the mixed critical and commercial successes of The Man Without A Face, Braveheart, The Passion of the Christ and Apocalypto.
The New York born actor and director returned to New South Wales - where he spent much of his early life - in July as he prepared to shoot his latest creative venture.
'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,' he said during a press conference at Sydney's Fox Studios.
'It gives me a particular giggle,' he said. '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.'
Starring The Amazing Spider-Man's Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge is based on the true story of conscientious objector Desmond Doss, who saved 75 men in Okinawa in World War II without ever firing a gun.
'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,' he said.
Hacksaw Ridge is expected to be completed towards the end of 2016.