The Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson is taking on World War I.
The new feature documentary about the First World War will use exclusive archive footage from the Imperial War Museum’s archive, as well as dipping into the BBC’s audio archives.
“I’ve always been fascinated by the First World War due to my own family history,” he explained in an official statement. “The Centenary felt like a unique opportunity to make a personal contribution to the commemoration. I wanted to find a way to bring new life to the stories of ordinary people living through extraordinary times.”
The currently untitled documentary will debut at the BFI London Film Festival in 2018, with a simultaneous screening brought to cinemas across the UK. The film will also eventually be aired on BBC One, with an accompanying ‘making-of’ documentary which includes behind-the-scenes footage as well as interviews with Peter Jackson and a closer look at the creative and technical processes behind the film.
Excitingly, the documentary will see Peter Jackson hand-colourizing and 3D digitizing some never-before-seen footage… which will essentially be restored for the first time using modern techniques.
“When Peter and I first met, he said he wanted to create a piece of film that would bring the experience of the First World War to life for young people today,” said Jenny Waldman, the Director of 14-18 NOW. “We are delighted to be working with such an exceptional filmmaker on this ground-breaking production and visionary resource that will enable all secondary school students in the country to see the film.”
It certainly sounds like an exciting project, and a very interesting one, too.
And what a director to take this on.