What is Mel Gibson doing in Brisbane?
MEL Gibson is poised to shoot his next blockbuster in Queensland.
In a major coup for the Sunshine State's growing film industry, the Hollywood star jetted in to Brisbane to meet with Screen Queensland executives yesterday and negotiate plans for his next project.
Gibson, 62, dined with Screen Queensland executive vice-president of production incentives and attraction Gina Black and vice-president of locations and production attraction Neil McGregor at South Bank's Stokehouse Q.
The Courier-Mail understands Gibson was being given a tour of potential filming locations, including Rocky Point Prawn Farm at Woongoolba and Village Roadshow Studios on the Gold Coast.
The prawn farm has been used for films including Fool's Gold and San Andreas and TV's Sea Patrol, while Village Roadshow has become a filmmaking hub for big-budget movies including Thor: Ragnarok, Aquaman and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.
It is believed the Oscar-winning director could be set to shoot World War II drama Destroyer, which focuses on the Battle of Okinawa in April 1945.
Rumours surfaced in April that Gibson would direct the film, which is based on the book Hell From the Heavens: The Epic Story of the USS Laffey and World War II's Greatest Kamikaze Attack by John Wukovits, with a screenplay written by Rosalind Ross.
It would be Gibson's first role at the helm since receiving an Oscar nomination for Hacksaw Ridge.
An industry insider confirmed the Braveheart legend was being hosted by Screen Queensland to see the state's film facilities.
"He loves Queensland," the source said.
Gibson, who had Screen Queensland and State Government documents in hand, dined with a party of five at Stokehouse Q, with the group seen sharing appetisers including tacos and gnocchi.
The Mad Max and Lethal Weapon star, who was said to be in "terrific spirits", ordered the market fish for main, and staff at the popular Brisbane restaurant reported Gibson was "an absolute delight".
"He was really nice, super polite and very complimentary," one staff member said.
Gibson's 2016 war film Hacksaw Ridge, filmed in NSW, grossed over $US175.3 million worldwide and earnt some of its Australian crew members Academy Awards for film editing and Best Sound Mixing last year.
The film brought 720 jobs and $US19 million to regional and rural New South Wales.
Gold Coast-based stunt co-ordinator Keir Beck also won the SAG award for Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture for his work on the film.
Mr Beck now runs a stunt training facility, AP8, near Village Roadshow Studios.
Gibson's visit came as Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk yesterday revealed during her trip to Hollywood that the Government would commit $12 million towards establishing a new film and television production studio in Brisbane.
While the studio will be designed to accommodate small film and television productions, the Government is yet to determine where it will be built.