First Run Features has set a theatrical run for Michael Apted’s “56 Up,” the eighth of the “Up” series, starting with a Jan. 4 opening at New York’s IFC Center.

Apted, whose credits include “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “The World is Not Enough” and “Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader,” began the series in 1964 as a researcher on a series for Granada TV called “Seven Up” and interviewed 14 children from diverse backgrounds from all over England. He’s interviewed the original group every seven years since then.

“Like a family, we’ve had our good times, our disagreements, but now, all but one of the participants are back for ’56 Up,'” Apted said. “I never know how each new film will turn out, except that it’ll be quite different from the last. ’21 Up’ was full of hope, ’28’ was about children and responsibility, ’35’ was concerned with mortality when some were losing parents, and ’49’ had a sense of disappointment with lives maybe not fully achieved. Yet ’56’ is quite different again, which goes to prove, if nothing else, that our series mirrors life, and is always full of surprises.”