×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Peter Jackson Making Documentary on World War I

Picture will premiere at the London Film Festival, then play on the BBC

Peter Jackson is switching his attention from epic fantasy conflicts to a real-life Great War. “The Lord of the Rings” director is making a new feature documentary about World War I to mark the centennial of the war’s end, mining the archives of the BBC and London’s Imperial War Museum for material. The as-yet-unnamed project will have a U.K.-wide release as part of the BFI London Film Festival in the fall.

The historical footage, much of which will not have been seen before, has been restored and hand-colorized. Jackson said the film will bring to life the real stories of people who lived through the 1914-18 conflict, which was billed as the “war to end all wars.”

The 2D and 3D film is part of the official program of cultural events marking the centenary of the armistice, organized under the banner “14-18 NOW” and supported by British lottery funding, the Arts Council, and government’s department of culture.

Events specialist Trafalgar Releasing will coordinate a U.K.-wide release of Jackson’s film to coincide with the LFF premiere. The film is being produced by the director’s WingNut Films shingle. He unveiled the project at BAFTA in London on Monday at an event also attended by BBC Director General Tony Hall.

He said the Imperial War Museum approached him a couple of years ago to see what could be done with their archive footage and how it could be presented in a way not done before.

“We’re making a film [that is] not the usual film you would expect on the First World War. We’re making a film that shows this incredible footage in which the faces of the men just jump out at you,” Jackson said. “It’s the people that come to life in this film.”

The producers sifted through hundreds of hours of interviews with veterans in order to focus on the personal experiences of the people involved. “We have made a movie which shows the experience of what it was like to fight in this war, not strategy [or] battles,” said Jackson, who discusses the film in the video below.

A copy of the film will also be given to every secondary school in Britain, with a key aim of the project to help younger generations understand the events of a century ago. BBC content chief Charlotte Moore said it would “bring unheard voices from a hundred years ago to life for a whole new generation to experience.”

More TV

  • WGA Agents Contract Tug of War

    Showrunners, Screenwriters Back WGA in Agency Battle, Sides to Meet Again Tuesday

    More than 750 showrunners and screenwriters have backed the WGA’s battle against talent agencies taking packaging fees and other changes to the rules governing the business relationship between agents and writers. The letter of support issued Saturday is significant because of the immense clout showrunners and prominent screenwriters possess in Hollywood. Several showrunners had recently [...]

  • Norman Reedus and Ryan Hurst'The Walking

    Norman Reedus on 'The Walking Dead' Without Andrew Lincoln: 'He's With Me Every Day'

    After saying goodbye to most of the original cast on “The Walking Dead,” Norman Reedus still feels his former co-stars with him during each episode. “I’ve seen so many people come and go,” he said during a “Walking Dead” panel on Friday at PaleyFest. “Right now on the show, the ghosts of all those guys [...]

  • Series Mania: De Mensen, Reel One

    Series Mania: First Details on Co-Pro Pitching Project 'Capturing Big Mouth' (EXCLUSIVE)

    LILLE, France — Belgian production company De Mensen, which has just been acquired by France’s Newen, has teamed with Reel One Entertainment on a new cross-continental thriller series, “Capturing Big Mouth. The series will be pitched Monday at this year’s Series Mania Forum Co-pro Pitching section. It chronicles the unlikely rise and eventual fall of [...]

  • Daily Show Viacom

    Viacom, DirecTV Make Progress in Contract Talks, No Blackout After Deadline Passes

    UPDATED: Viacom and DirecTV executives went down to the wire Friday on a combative contract renewal negotiation with high stakes for both sides. The companies stayed in talks past the midnight Eastern contract expiration and the channels stayed up on AT&T’s platforms. Sources indicated early Saturday that the threat of a blackout had been averted. [...]

  • ABBY'S -- "Pilot" Episode 101 --

    TV Review: 'Abby's' Starring Natalie Morales

    “Abby’s,” NBC’s new comedy about a cranky bartender (Natalie Morales) and her inner circle of regulars, is aware of the inevitable “Cheers” comparisons. Created by “New Girl” writer Josh Malmuth and executive produced by uber-producer (and unabashed “Cheers” superfan) Mike Schur, “Abby’s” therefore makes a few key choices in order to differentiate itself as its [...]

  • Ryan Murphy Walk of Fame

    TV News Roundup: Netflix Sets Premiere Date for Ryan Murphy's 'The Politician'

    In today’s roundup, Netflix announces the premiere date for Ryan Murphy’s “The Politician” series, and Kristin Cavallari will host “Paradise Hotel” on Fox.  DATES Reality star Kristin Cavallari will host Fox’s reboot of “Paradise Hotel,” an unscripted dating show in which a group of singles will check into a tropical resort and compete to check [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content