By Michael Peabody
Hacksaw Ridge, the $55 million Mel Gibson-directed World War II film that tells the story of Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Desmond Doss completed filming in December and is now in post-production with a targeted release date this November in time for Oscar consideration.
Doss, a conscientious objector who refused to carry a weapon, is credited with single-handedly saving the lives of at least 75 soldiers as a medic in a single battle in the South Pacific, a feat that would be considered unbelievable but for the fact that the event was extensively researched and verified by the military before Doss was awarded the Medal by President Truman on October 12, 1945.
The action thriller has been in the works for 14 years since the time that Seventh-day Adventist communicator Stan Jensen introduced the story to writer Gregory Crosby, but Gibson has managed to take the story from paper to post-production in less than a year since coming on board in November 2014. Filming began in September 2015 and wrapped in December.
The producers have kept mum about the feel of the film but it is likely going to take on an action vibe with Andrew Garfield, known to fans of the comic book genre for his work as the title characer in “Amazing Spider-Man,” in the role of Doss and other action / physical comedy stars Vince Vaughn (Wedding Crashers), Sam Worthington (Avatar), and Luke Bracey (Point Break) playing key roles. Doss’ father, Tom Doss, is played by Hugo Weaving (Captain America: The First Avenger).
Although reach the stunning level of violence in Gibson’s, The Passion of the Christ, the final production will probably be more Saving Private Ryan than Bridge on the River Kwai judging by the fact that Walden Media backed out of the production when they realized the story would likely be too intense for company’s PG-13 target.
The production was met with tragedy last year when music composer James Horner, who had worked with Gibson on three prior films, died in a plane crash. John Debney who composed the score for “Passion of the Christ” is now writing the score for Hacksaw Ridge.
We will continue to keep you up-to-date on the status of the film which holds a special importance for those who value the right to accommodation of conscience and religious liberty.