Mel Gibson Plans to Direct Desmond Doss Film

(system) #1

The Hollywood Reporter has announced that Actor/Director Mel Gibson has begun talks with The Amazing Spider-Man's Andrew Garfield about a World War II film on Seventh-day Adventist conscientious objector-turned-war-hero, Desmond T. Doss. The film breaks Gibson's eight-year absence as a director. Garfield looks set to star as Desmond Doss.

Doss, a private in the United States army, drafted in 1942, worked as a medic in the Pacific Theater and was credited with saving the lives of 75 men during the Battle of Okinawa. Early in his military service, Doss was maligned for his refusal to carry a weapon. In the Battle of Okinawa, Doss worked amid heavy enemy fire to evacute soldiers near the front line. He was wounded by a grenade and hit by a sniper's bullet while working to save wounded soldiers.

Doss received the Medal of Honor from Presdient Harry Truman in 1945, and was subsequently awarded two bronze stars and three purple hearts for his service.

The Doss story will be entitled "Hacksaw Ridge," and according to various outlets, the screenplay has been completed already. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the film has been in the works for a long time.

The movie has been more than 13 years in the making and was originally set up at Disney. Ironically, it had Gibson's "We Were Soldiers" helmer Randall Wallace directing back then.

The film seems a close fit for Gibson's tastes. As an actor, he often starred in violent war epics like "Braveheart" (1995), "The Patriot" (2000), and "We Were Soldiers" (2002). Gibson has also shown an affinity for religious content. His 2004 drama, "The Passion of the Christ," earned Gibson both accolades and denunciations from critics and moviegoers alike for graphic, violent content in the story of Jesus' trial, crucifixion and death. Some critics saw the film as antisemitic, an accusation against Gibson later fueled by a drunk driving-related rant.

Gibson hopes to begin filming in 2015 and to release the film in 2016. It would mark one decade since his last project. Gibson's most recent film was the 2006 adventure epic, "Apocalypto," released the year of Desmond Doss's passing. In 2006 Gibson received a DUI citation for speeding with an open alcohol container in his vehicle. In a tirade against the officer who cited him, Gibson made derogatory comments about Jews, and Gibson has been dogged by accusations of anti-semitism ever since. He has struggled to be taken seriously within Hollywood after that incident.

Andrew Garfield is best perhaps known for his role as the titular character in The Amazing Spider-Man, though his breakthrough as an actor came in 2010 when he played Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin in "The Social Network."

Jared Wright is Spectrum's managing editor.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

(Kevin Paulson) #2

While I am a lifelong admirer of Desmond Doss—my own father was a conscientious objector in the United States Navy during World War II, and remains to this day robust at 93—I am not an admirer of Mel Gibson. Remarks of the kind reported in this article should not endear him to anyone. His father made comments some years back about the Holocaust being a big exaggeration. Parents and children don’t always agree on things, to be sure, but one wonders about Gibson’s own thinking if he is prepared to spew tirades which include slurs of this sort.

I can only hope the movie accurately depicts Doss’s faith and experience.

(Thomas J Zwemer) #3

Desmond Doss. Deserves his story be told… I was a medic in the South Pacific at the same time. I was slated for front line duty, when the War Department issued a Directive stating that no medic under the age of 20. Be sent to the front. I was assigned to a clearing company. several times we would receive one wounded infantryman and three wounded medics who attempted to apply first aid. Tom Z

(Bb Yeaton) #4

We can be proud of the CO and admire their courage and contributions. Can we also be thankful for those who go into battle and pull the triggers as well?

(Elmer Cupino) #5

Should be good PR for the SDA church, and free of cost. Could not ask for a better deal, compliments of MG.

Thanks Mr. Gibson.

(Thomas J Zwemer) #6

yes of course. I was the guy who passed out the Purple Hearts. I had one infantry Company Commender twice, once a serious wound that less than an inch from being fatal, the other time with very loose stools, and bullet holes through both pant legs. he insisted the two were not related… we became good friends. I grew up Adventist. never the less I believed I served my country well.I never looked down at the infantry, or the tank crew. I had one tank driver with a slug inches deep just below his right shoulder. it seems a machine gun shell entered the periscope was defected down the tube Broke through and entered his right shoulder. another infantry was run over by one of our tanks. it was in a deep rice paddy, The tread marks when on his legs. He said it stung a little, but I can’t keep from shaking. We calmed him down and sent him back. he went without a mummer yes indeed, the men and now women who carry the fight to the enemy have my deepest regard. Tom Z

(jeremy) #7

i’m not familiar with the desmond doss story…but mel knows how to tell a story, both from an acting and directing standpoint…i’m sure this will be a movie worth seeing…

(Kevin Seidel) #8

There is a 2004 documentary about him that is very good. The Conscientious Objector. I borrowed it from my local library.

(David P R) #9

Yeah - he knows how to tell a story alright. The Passion of the Christ, making it a co-redeemer movie and focusing on the pain that Mary went through also as Jesus dies on the cross. And Protestants (and Adventists) flock to this thing and don’t even know what’s going on, all the while they are subconsciously seeing Mary as important as Jesus. That kind of storytelling is called fables.

David R.

(Kevin Paulson) #10

Tom, my father was also a medic in the South Pacific, in the Solomon Islands. Where were you? Just curious.

(Rohan Charlton) #11

focusing on the pain that Mary went through also as Jesus dies on the cross.

Wonderful that the film did this. We sometimes forget about the plight of Mary seeing her own son crucified. Just as the Father in Heaven looked on, so did Mary. Just imagine how she would have felt.

(George Tichy) #12

His next project should be a film about Desmond Ford. This would be a great publicity for the Church, isn’t it???

(jeremy) #13

i agree that mel, and all directors, take liberties - recall that this is why “the record keeper” was canned…this summer i saw “noah” on a return flight home…while i barely recognized the plot, i do have to say it is a very moving film that does throw insight into the ordeal noah and his family went through…with “the passion of the christ”, i didn’t get the chance to see the movie, but the trailers i’ve seen are vintage mel - completely shocking in its graphics, and well calculated to make the average person sit up and take notice…in that particular case, i do believe people were convicted, and that new ideas of the crucifixion of christ occurred to many…

i don’t think we can rule out the possibility that god works through popular culture, despite the flaws…i’ve heard a lot of popular music that carries conviction, and that can be the start of a real spiritual journey for some…

(jeremy) #14

george, enough people in the church have been permanently confused by desmond ford…i don’t think we want people outside the church to be even more confused…


The documentary of Desmond Doss is quite long, an hour 40. But the last 30 minutes or so are chilling! The miracles God does for this man are beyond words. For anyone who has not seen it, I highly recommend it. Will strengthen anyone’s faith.

You know if Mel Gibson makes this, there’s going to be blood…and allot of it.


Thats interesting you bring that up David. I’m reminded of one particular scene when Peter rejected Jesus. The next shot was of him running to Mary, falling down on his knees and pleading for her forgiveness.


Dear Sir/Madame website editor,

I have a suggestion. How about an article on how Protestantism and Catholicism are working more closely together, ignoring, what they see as unimportant doctrines, to reach the world with their gospel. I’m not asking for you to take sides, obviously, but a simple telling of the situation, and whats occurring around the world with this. Its big news. So much is occurring, and so quickly, who can keep up. And I believe it would be a good topic to discuss.

I ask this because of a 2 min clip of Rick Warren that’s making the rounds, of his thoughts on RCC and Protestants working as one. Just a thought. Thank you :sunny:

This clip is take from: Catholic News Service

(Thomas J Zwemer) #18

I was on New Britain, Luzon, Panay, Los Negros, then on to South Korea. Tom Z

(George Tichy) #19

Only those who don’t accept Sola Scriptura have reasons to be confused. They add “other stuff” to the Bible, create new non-biblical theories, call them “doctrines,” and repeat them until they end up believing in the fallacy. They avoid the book of Hebrews and rather stick to the “StarBoox.”

No wonder they are… confused!

(Kevin Paulson) #20

A far wider tour of duty than my father’s. The legacy of the Greatest Generation, as Tom Brokaw said.