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Peter Jackson’s ‘They Shall Not Grow Old’ Set for U.S. Release in December

Fathom Events has partnered with Warner Bros. Pictures to bring Peter Jackson’s World War I documentary “They Shall Not Grow Old” to U.S. theaters on Dec. 17 and Dec. 27, Variety has learned exclusively.

Tickets go on sale on Nov. 16.

Jeff Goldstein, president of domestic distribution for Warner Bros. Pictures, said, “With this being the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, I can’t imagine a more appropriate time to honor the courage of the soldiers who fought in WWI — what was then ‘the war to end all wars’ — many of whom made the ultimate sacrifice. Peter has made history come alive through the medium of film, and we are so pleased to be a part of bringing his vision to today’s audiences.”

They Shall Not Grow Old” will air on the BBC in the U.K. on Nov. 11 — Armistice Day. It’s the day on which the allies and Germans agreed to cease hostilities. The film was commissioned by 14-18 NOW, the U.K. arts program for the First World War centenary, and the Imperial War Museum, in association with the BBC.

Jackson recorded a special introduction to the film, offering his perspective on why the movie is important for audiences who have never experienced World War I footage in color.

The Fathom screenings will be immediately followed by pre-recorded offering insights into making the film. Jackson had access to more than 600 hours of BBC archival interviews in assembling the documentary.

“We knew that partnering with Warner Bros. to bring this extraordinary documentary to U.S. audiences was essential,” said Fathom Events CEO Ray Nutt. “Putting this documentary on the big screen via the Fathom network will further illuminate Jackson’s work and allow moviegoers to see the impressive visual detail of the restored footage as though they were a part of that moment in time.”

Carolyn Blackwood, New Line president and chief content officer, and an executive producer on Jackson’s “The Hobbit” trilogy said, “This documentary is simply special on every level — it is an arresting and gripping way to humanize and honor those who served so bravely during WWI by using actual footage shot at the time and narrated with the voices of the soldiers who experienced it. Leave it to Peter to come up with a groundbreaking way to reflect back on a period in history that deserves another look.”

Fathom Events is a joint venture of AMC Entertainment, Cinemark Holdings, and Regal Entertainment Group — the three largest movie theater chains in the U.S.

Jackson is a producer and writer on the apocalyptic movie “Mortal Engines,” which Universal is opening on Dec. 14.

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