Mel Gibson to Helm World War II Naval Thriller
Only two years after Mel Gibson returned to the Director’s chair with HACKSAW RIDGE, the filmmaker is gearing up for another World War II thriller called DESTROYER. The movie is based on the book Hell From the Heavens: The Epic Story of the USS Laffey and World War II’s Greatest Kamikaze Attack by John Wukovits.
The book recounts the destroyer ship the USS Laffey, which became famous after it survived 80-minutes of attacks from 22 Japanese kamikaze planes and bombers in 1945, during the Battle of Okinawa. The USS Laffey in the battle was hit by seven planes and two bombs, resulting in heavy damage, but against all odds, the crew kept the boat afloat while also battling fires, flooding and guns that had stopped working. The ship is now a museum ship at Patriots Point in South Carolina.
Mel Gibson is eyeing a 2018 start date for production, but filming could be delayed since Gibson is also negotiating a starring role in the remake of THE SIX BILLION DOLLAR MAN, opposite to Mark Wahlberg, which films this summer.
DESTROYER was acquired in 2017 by the production company Hollywood Gang, who announced that they had attached Rosalind Ross to write the script, who is also Mel Gibson’s girlfriend. “We must tell the story of the brave men of the Laffey,” Producer Gianni Nunnari said, “The kamikaze planes, the bombs — they kept coming and coming, but these men, with courage and sacrifice, they kept their ship afloat. For me, Rosalind Ross was the obvious choice for the job; she has the kind of ferocious and character-driven approach that I love.”