Mel Gibson to direct WWII story about Christian Medal of Honor winner

by Vanessa Garcia Rodriguez, |
Desmond Doss, received the Congressional Medal of Honor from President Harry S. Truman on October 12, 1945. Photo:

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (Christian Examiner) -- Mel Gibson will again fill the director's chair, this time to tell the true story of a Christian World War II hero who won the Congressional Medal of Honor, two Bronze Stars and three Purple Hearts without carrying a weapon or killing an enemy soldier -- because of his religious beliefs.

Spider Man's Andrew Garfield is in talks to take the lead role of Private First Class Desmond T. Doss, the Seventh-day Adventist on whom the story is based.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the project is more than 13 years in the making and has changed directors, studios and titles over the years. But producers David Permust and Bill Mechanic have stayed the course from the beginning. Brian Oliver and Tyler Thompson from Cross Creek Pictures, the company financing the film, also are co-producing.

The film, which will release under the title "Hacksaw Ridge" takes place in 1942. It tells the courageous efforts of Doss as a medic in the Pacific theater who braves enemy fire to save the lives of 75 men during the Battle of Okinawa. It also depicts the account of Doss being wounded by a grenade and hit by a sniper while saving soldiers and deals with Doss' being shunned in the military because of his faith.

The Guardian calls the film "a perfect fit for the religiously minded Gibson" who hasn't directed since the release of Apocalypto in 2006. Prior to that, Gibson independently produced and directed the 2004 film The Passion of the Christ which made $600 million worldwide after attracting huge numbers of Christian filmgoers.