Mel Gibson Eyes Kamikaze War Thriller ‘Destroyer’ as Next Directing Gig (Exclusive)
Gibson will helm Destroyer, a World War II naval war movie from Hollywood Gang Productions, making the project his follow-up to Hacksaw Ridge, the 2016 war drama that served as his directorial comeback.
The timing of Destroyer — the fall is a possibility — is in flux as Gibson is also being courted for a role opposite Mark Wahlberg in The Six Billion Dollar Man, Warner Bros.’ big-screen take on the 1970s television series.
Six Billion Dollar Man is due to begin shooting in late summer and go into the fall, which could push Gibson’s plans into the winter.
Destroyer is based on the nonfiction book Hell From the Heavens: The Epic Story of the USS Laffey and World War II’s Greatest Kamikaze Attack by John Wukovits. Rosalind Ross, who worked on the TV series Matador and is Gibson’s longtime girlfriend, wrote the script.
Just as Hacksaw Ridge dealt with the Battle of Okinawa in the Pacific Theater during World War II, Destroyeralso tackles the subject, although from a different angle. Hell From the Heavens tells the heroic story of how the crewmen of the Laffey defended their ship from an astounding 22 kamikaze attacks on April 16, 1945.
As for Six Billion Dollar Man, it is unclear what role Gibson is wanted for. Wahlberg is playing Col. Steve Austin, a downed pilot who is saved by an operation that makes him part machine. Sources say Wahlberg is pushing for Gibson after working with him on the Paramount comedy Daddy’s Home 2, in which the pair played father and son.
Gibson is repped by CAA and Hansen Jacobson.