Mel Gibson is attached to direct World War II drama Destroyer. It'll be the actor-director's second WWII film in a row, as his dormant directing career came roaring back to life with 2016's Oscar-nominated Hacksaw Ridge. Bolstered by Andrew Garfield's performance as legendary conscientious objector Desmond Doss, Hacksaw Ridge continued the epic wartime dramatics and unflinching bloodshed that has come to define Gibson's filmography.
It's likely that Destroyer will be no exception. Like Hacksaw Ridge, it will focus on the Battle of Okinawa from April 1945, but a different aspect of it. Gibson also has some acting gigs lined up, but it appears that most of his energy is about to focus on yet another war movie - and the basis for this next one likely includes more blood to be spilled for the director's historically graphic work.
THR first reported the news of Gibson's impending hire on Monday. Destroyer marks the feature-length screenwriting debut of Gibson's longtime girlfriend, Rosalind Ross. Also along the lines of Hacksaw Ridge, Destroyer will be based on a nonfiction book about the Battle of Okinawa, John Wukovits' Hell From the Heavens: The Epic Story of the USS Laffey and World War II’s Greatest Kamikaze Attack. But the similarities go below the surface as well; the true story of the USS Laffey concerns a crew of naval officers who, despite 32 deaths, successfully defended the naval destroyer against 22 different Kamikaze attacks by the Japanese army. It would almost serve as a companion piece to the story of Doss' heroics in saving 75 of his fellow soldiers without ever firing a weapon in Hacksaw Ridge.
The report added that Gibson is also in talks for a major role in the Mark Wahlberg-starring big-screen reboot of The Six Billion Dollar Man. That will factor into the timing of his work on Destroyer, which could possibly begin shooting in the fall. If he does join The Six Billion Dollar Man, which shoots this summer, he may have to push production on Destroyer back to the winter. Gibson is also still planning on eventually filming his Passion of the Christ sequel, but might not be doing Lethal Weapon 5.
Gibson proved with Hacksaw Ridge that he still has plenty of directing chops. And longtime fans of his powerful yet brutal depictions of war violence will probably find plenty to sink their teeth into when Destroyer becomes a reality. Gibson might also not win any new converts if Destroyer is a continuation of the mayhem what unfolded in Hacksaw Ridge. Considering that the film depicts the same battle, and could technically take place in the same cinematic universe if Gibson wanted it to, it's likely that Destroyer provides plenty of familiarity for those who have followed Gibson's work behind the camera.
Destroyer has no timetable for a release date, but could begin shooting as soon as fall 2018.