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Peter Jackson to make World War I movie

Peter Jackson, King Kong

Story by Jack Foley

PETER Jackson, the director best known for his Lord of the Rings films, is creating a new 3D film aimed at bringing World War One to life.

The filmmaker will be using archive footage captured during the conflict in order to get some new stories and perspectives, which he admitted to finding “surprising”.

The Oscar-winner has restored the 100-year-old footage – some of which has never been seen before – from the Imperial War Museum’s archive, having spent months in the Imperial War Museum – which jointly commissioned the film – watching original World War One footage.

The images are being digitally restored and will be hand-colourised and accompanied by original audio.

The as-yet untitled film will premiere at this year’s BFI London Film Festival before being broadcast on BBC One on November 11, Armistice Day.

Commenting on the project, Jackson described the transformed footage as “beyond anything we’ve ever seen before”.

He added: “The faces of the men just jump out at you. It’s the faces, it’s the people, that come to life in this film. It’s the human beings that were actually there, that were thrust into this extraordinary situation that defined their lives.”

The footage is coupled with original sound from the BBC archives.

Jackson said he wanted to make a “personal contribution to the commemoration” of the war.

“We’ve made a movie to show the experience of what it was like to fight in this war,” he explained. “The human experience of being in the war. A hundred years later we have made up our own minds of what the First World War was like.

“But I think it’s going to be very surprising when you listen to the voices of the men that fought the war and were there. What they had to eat, how they slept at night, how they coped with the fear. And that combined with these incredibly sharp images… it’s going to be quite a surprising film.”

Jackson’s film has been commissioned as part of 14-18 NOW, the UK’s official arts programme for the World War One centenary.