Rachel Griffiths, Richard Roxburgh, Teresa Palmer and Ben O’Toole are among a large contingent of Aussies who are appearing in Hacksaw Ridge, Mel Gibson’s WW2 drama now shooting in New South Wales.

The screenplay by Andrew Knight, Robert Schenkkan and Randall Wallace chronicles the true story of conscientious objector Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield).

In the battle of Okinawa Doss, an Army medic who believed the war was just but that killing was wrong, saved 75 soldiers without firing a gun.

As previously announced Sam Worthington is playing Captain Glover, who led the 77th Sustainment Brigade, with Vince Vaughn as Sergeant Howell, whose job was to get the new recruits ready for battle. Luke Bracey is Smitty Ryker, the alpha dog of the Doss’ platoon.

Palmer plays Doss’s sweetheart Dorothy Shutte and Griffiths is his mother Bertha Doss. Roxburgh is Colonel Stelzer and O’Toole is Corporal Jessop.

The cast also includes Gibson’s 25-year-old son Milo in his first screen role, Luke Pegler, Richard Pyros, Ben Mingay, Firass Dirani, Nico Cortez, Michael Sheasby, Goran Kleut, Jacob Warner, Harry Greenwood, Damien Thomlinson, Benedict Hardie, Robert Morgan, Ori Pfeffer and Nathaniel Buzolic.

The key crew comprises DoP Simon Duggan (The Great Gatsby, 300: Rise of an Empire), production designer Barry Robison (X-Men Origins: Wolverine), costume designer Lizzy Gardiner (The Railway Man, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Mission: Impossible II), casting director Nikki Barrett and composer John Debney (Iron Man 2, The Passion of the Christ).

It’s Gibson’s first film as a director since Apocalypto in 2006. The film also takes place in Doss’ hometown of Lynchburg, Virginia .

The producers are Pandemonium Films Bill Mechanic (Coraline, the upcoming The Moon and the Sun and 2.22) Permut Productions’ David Permut (Face/Off, Youth In Revolt, Dragnet), Gibson’s producing partner Bruce Davey (Braveheart, Apocalypto, The Passion of the Christ) and Paul Currie (One Perfect Day, The Moon and the Sun, 2.22).

Gibson said, “While production has only just begun, there is already incredible camaraderie between the cast. Not only is Andrew perfect for the role of Desmond Doss, the entire cast are an incredible mix of experience, depth and exciting up and coming talent.”

A former 20th Century Fox studio chief, Mechanic said, “I worked with Mel 20 years ago on Braveheart and this is the first film I thought not only worthy of him but perfect for him.

“Desmond Doss is as unique a hero as William Wallace and there is no better director to bring the story to life than Mel. It’s taken seemingly forever to mount the film properly, but we now have an amazing cast, a script that resonates, and the ideal director, so couldn’t be more excited now that we’re underway.”

Icon Film Distribution will distribute in Australia and Lionsgate/Summit has the US rights.

IM Global pre-sold major territories including China (YooZoo), Germany (Universum), Italy (Andrea Leone), Spain (Dea Planeta), Korea ( Pancinema) and Latin America ( Sun Distribution).

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