THR reports that per an estimated $10-$12 million pact, Cross Creek Pictures and Demarest Films will co-finance the $45 million WWII drama based on the true story of soldier turned conscientious objector Desmond T. Doss, to be played by Andrew Garfield. Cross Creek and Demarest will release the film nationally with Lionsgate.
Over 13 years in the making, “Hacksaw” sold presale rights on the European Film Market to territories including Germany, Spain, Korea and Latin America.
Drafted in 1942, Doss refused to bear arms and eventually became a medic. He won the Medal of Honor in 1945 for aiding 75 men during the Battle of Okinawa, yanking wounded men from enemy lines and sustaining critical injuries while unarmed. The film was originally at Disney with Randall Wallace, director of earnest Gibson Vietnam War film “We Were Soldiers” (2002), attached.
Last year at Karlovy Vary, Gibson told us why he wouldn’t self-finance another directorial effort, instead opting for decent studio budgets or foreign sales pre-buys (which he has landed for “Hacksaw”). His last film, non-stop actioner “Apocalypto,” didn’t make money whereas his modestly scaled $30 million “Passion of the Christ” made millions.
The smash success of Chris Kyle war pic “American Sniper” has no doubt stirred confidence in foreign buyers that these kinds of war stories do, in fact, make money.