Mel Gibson’s Film Loses Andrew Lesnie as DOP

The recently deceased Australian cinematographer had reportedly been set to lens Mel Gibson’s latest directorial effort, ‘Hacksaw Ridge’, which is headed down under.

Mel Gibson will be returning to Australia this year to shoot Hacksaw Ridge, his first feature as director since Apocalypto (2006) and the first film he has made in Australia since Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome in 1985.

FilmInk spoke with the film’s producer James Vernon about the project to date. “Mel Gibson is confirmed,” said Vernon. “Location surveys have taken place on the east coast of Australia and production is expected to start reasonably soon.” American producer and Pandemonium Films CEO Bill Mechanic is also one of the film’s producers.

A source close to FilmInk has confirmed that recently deceased acclaimed Australian cinematographer Andrew Lesnie was scheduled to serve as Director of Photography for Hacksaw Ridge. A long-time collaborator with Peter Jackson, Lesnie worked on both the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies, winning an Academy Award for The Fellowship of the Ring. Called the “master of light” by Russell Crowe, who collaborated with Lesnie on The Water Diviner, Lesnie had reportedly been suffering from “a serious heart condition” and passed away this week from a heart attack at the age of 59.

As of yet, the project is yet to confirm a number of key roles or commence principal photography. FilmInk has also learnt that Fox Studios have been in the bidding to shoot part of the film on their locations, with the film’s production crew also considering locations in the ACT.

Gibson has been the subject of a number of controversies since the early 2000’s, with his attempts to return to the Hollywood mainstream receiving mixed responses. Starring The Amazing Spiderman’s Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge depicts the battle for Okinawa’s Maeda Escarpment during WW2 and the actions of Private First Class Desmond Doss (Garfield), a conscientious objector who refused to bear arms on religious grounds and went on to win the Congressional Medal of Honour for saving the lives of 75 men.

Hacksaw Ridge is due to start shooting in September and has a 2016 release date.

On FilmInk