Oscars: 5 things you didn't know about Hacksaw Ridge

Five fascinating facts about Mel Gibson's first film in a decade.

Five fascinating facts about Mel Gibson's first film in a decade

Mel Gibson directs Hacksaw Ridge, a film about real-life World War II medic Desmond Doss. (

The Oscars are right around the corner, and to mark the occasion, we've gathered five fascinating facts about each of this year's Academy Award best picture nominees.

Here they are for Mel Gibson's World War II biopic Hacksaw Ridge, which is up for best picture, best actor, best director, best film editing, best sound editing and best sound mixing.

1. Hacksaw Ridge is the first film that Gibson has directed since his 2006 film Apocalypto, and marks a departure from films like Braveheart, where the central character is a violent fighter.

2. The film is based on a true story about Desmond Doss, a pacifist World War II medic who refused to carry a weapon, but singlehandedly saved 75 soldiers during the bloody battle of Okinawa. The story would seem impossible, but was extensively researched and verified by the military before Doss was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor by then president Harry Truman on Oct. 12, 1945.

3. The story was in the works for 14 years, but once the script got into the hands of director Mel Gibson, it came to life quickly and was shot in just 59 days.

4. Composer James Horner was slated to compose the score, but he died tragically in a plane crash in 2015. John Debney, who composed the music for Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, stepped in instead.

5. Actress Teresa Palmer, who plays Doss's wife, wanted a role in the film so badly that she recorded an audition on her iPhone and sent it to Gibson. She didn't hear back for three months, but then Gibson contacted her by Skype and told her she had landed the role.

Read fascinating facts about the other best picture nominees here:

From Arrival to La La Land: fascinating facts about this year's best picture Oscar nominees

— Jennifer Van Evra, q digital staff


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