The trailer for Hacksaw Ridge deals with two topics director Mel Gibson knows well: war and Christianity. The movie stars Andrew Garfield as Desmond Doss, who served as a medic in World War II but would not use a weapon because of his religious beliefs. The trailer homes in on Doss’ fellow soldiers disdain for his pacifism, and Doss’ ultimate heroism in the face of battle. And hey, is that Vince Vaughn we see? (Yes, yes it is.) With a fall release date and a spot at the Venice Film Festival, Hacksaw Ridge is making a clear play for awards consideration. All the elements are there: the heart-tugging true story, the grand scope, and the performance from an actor many are eager to see prove his artistic mettle following a period in superhero spandex. (Garfield also stars in Martin Scorsese’s Silence this year.)
But then there’s the Gibson of it all. The movie is his first directorial effort since Apocalypto, which came out 10 years ago. Despite remaining relatively quiet as of late, Gibson hasn’t been able to shake the unsavory scandals that have come to define him. (See, for instance, this year’s Golden Globes.) Time will tell whether his celebrity persona will influence public reception to his new work. Hacksaw Ridge hits theaters November 4.