Peter Jackson Backs "Dambusters" Remake

Producer Peter Jackson will take control of "Dambusters," a fact-based WWII story that was the subject of a 1955 Michael Anderson film of the same name. Oscar-winning storyboard artist Christian Rivers will make his directorial debut on "Dambusters."

Universal press release, courtesy of ComingSoon.net:

Production will soon begin on "Dambusters," an inspirational story of heroism and one of the most daring missions in aeronautic military history, it was announced today by Universal Pictures and StudioCanal.


Christian Rivers will direct the film, which is inspired by actual events and based on the book "The Dam Busters" by Paul Brickhill and the 1955 Associated British Picture Corporation motion picture. The WingNut Films production is produced by Jan Blenkin, Carolynne Cunningham and Peter Jackson, with Sir David Frost and Ken Kamins serving as executive producers.

A Universal Pictures presentation in association with StudioCanal, "Dambusters" chronicles the story of Operation Chastise, a top-secret Royal Air Force bombing mission designed to strike a decisive blow against the seemingly invincible Nazi war machine at the height of its aggression.

In March 1943, a group of airmen drawn from across the ranks of the RAF were assembled and trained for an unprecedented and potentially deadly assignment whose complete nature was not revealed to them. This largely hand-picked group, known as 617 Squadron -- including pilots from Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the USA -- were led by Wing Cmdr. Guy Gibson. They had only seven weeks to train with exercises that imitated, but never revealed, their ultimate intent: to fly deep within well-armed Germany at tree top level and destroy three dams that were essential to the Nazi steel industry. A revolutionary "bouncing" bomb that could skip across water had been developed by a visionary scientist, Barnes Wallis, but to be effective, the bomb had to be dropped from a terrifyingly close range and at very low altitude. In specially-modified Lancaster aircraft, the airmen trained for a single mission, the likes of which had never been undertaken and whose potential for success was small.

"This is one of the most remarkable true stories to come out of World War II," stated Jackson. "When Michael Anderson made his thrilling version of this story in 1955, many details of the dams raid were still a closely guarded secret. It has since been declassified by the British Government, making the dynamics of the story and the people involved even more intriguing. That, combined with our ability to harness state-of-the-art computer generated visual effects, will enable us to bring the events of these desperate days of 1943 to life in a very visceral way. This is an astonishing story that continues to be revered in British Commonwealth history, and our hope is to make their exploits known to more of the world and extend their legacy to a generation that might not otherwise recognize their inspiration and sacrifice."

"Peter Jackson is the ideal producer for a remake of 'Dambusters,'" said Sir David Frost. "Not only because of his film-making genius, but also because of his aeronautical expertise and his unique understanding of the human pressures wrought by war."

Dambusters marks the feature film directorial debut of Christian Rivers, who has worked with Jackson for over 17 years -- first as a storyboard artist while still at school, then as an animator, pre-vis supervisor, second unit director -- culminating in his work as animation director on Jackson's "King Kong," which won him a 2006 Academy AwardŽ for Best Visual Effects (an honor Rivers shared with Joe Letteri, Brian Van't Hul and Richard Taylor).

"The bravery of these young pilots, some of whom were only 20 years old, inspired the whole Allied world not just to resist, but to strike back against Nazi Germany," said Rivers. "I grew up with the Dambusters mythology as part of my heritage. I remember seeing it for the first time on television in England with my grandfather. I'll never forget marveling at the image of the bouncing bomb punching across the water. This is one of the most revered stories of British ingenuity and heroism. We intend to be true to the values of the era in which these events took place."

The OscarŽ-winning artists at Weta Digital, Ltd. and Weta Workshop, Ltd. will create the visual effects and miniatures necessary to fully realize "Dambusters" for the motion picture screen.

Comments

Pleasuretown

Nic Markham

I would really love to see peter jackson go for an original idea. Instead of based on a book or a remake.

Sep 1 - 08:25 AM

dracus

Cap Nord

Try The Frighteners; an original story that he and Fran Walsh wrote.

Sep 1 - 09:52 AM

I Am Remote

Robert Pilkington

I agree. No one is going to prove to me he's "brilliant" until I see him cook up a great original work created for the screen.

"The Frighteners" is an interesting movie, but it doesn't do that for me.

Sep 1 - 11:35 AM

dracus

Cap Nord

So, he's not brilliant until he cooks up a great original work created for the screen. I guess that means 99.99% of the other so called brilliant directors in the history of cinema are not that brilliant either.

Sep 1 - 01:15 PM

medicineman

Kim Hutton

[b]ARE YOU MENTAL???[/b]
Jackson took one of the most important, successful, beloved and visual trilogy of books in literary history and used his creative vision to turn it into one of the most important, successful, beloved and visual movie trilogies in cinematic history and was hailed as genius for doing so by all the greats from Spielberg to Eastwood to Scorsese and you don't think he's brilliant? As Brian in The Life of Brian would say: "There's just no pleasing some people."

Sep 1 - 02:40 PM

Master King Sexington

Tyler Jones

Pretty much everyone says Kubrick is brilliant, but most of his work is based off of a novel or inspired by another work. Jackson is a good director and The Frighteners is probably his most enjoyable movie. Now I don't want LotR fans attacking me because I said that because those are epic movies, but enjoyable really doesn't seem to apply to them

Sep 1 - 10:46 PM

Mikeal420

David Goldman

I agree, Kubrick is perhaps the greatest director of all time, and just about all of his films were based on (or at least inspired by), popular novels. This is not to say their work is not original though. The books these films are based on told a story, the movies that were inspired by them depicted the story it told. Classical painters do the same thing when depicting stories from the Bible or Classic Literature, and it doesn't make their work any less interesting or original. In fact, the existence of a novel that tells the whole story often makes us appreciate the art (paintings or film) even more.

But I do disagree with you that LOTR was not enjoyable, it was an epic of monumental proportions that still managed to be entertaining too (It should of been longer even, a big budget series on HBO might of done it justice)

Sep 2 - 03:47 AM

dracus

Cap Nord

I agree with your comments regarding the LOTR's being longer. Unless you've seen the extended versions of the movies, you haven't really seen LOTR's. All three movies became so much better when the extended versions came out and it must have been very frustrating for Jackson to have been forced to cut them down to the inferior shorter versions that were first released in the theatres.

After listening to the commentaries on the extended versions, I look forward to the day that he actually gets to release the full versions that we have yet to see, something that he expects New Line Cinema will want him to do for a future anniversary release.

Sep 2 - 06:29 AM

dracus

Cap Nord

Try The Frighteners; an original story that he and Fran Walsh wrote.

Sep 1 - 09:52 AM

I Am Remote

Robert Pilkington

I agree. No one is going to prove to me he's "brilliant" until I see him cook up a great original work created for the screen.

"The Frighteners" is an interesting movie, but it doesn't do that for me.

Sep 1 - 11:35 AM

dracus

Cap Nord

So, he's not brilliant until he cooks up a great original work created for the screen. I guess that means 99.99% of the other so called brilliant directors in the history of cinema are not that brilliant either.

Sep 1 - 01:15 PM

medicineman

Kim Hutton

[b]ARE YOU MENTAL???[/b]
Jackson took one of the most important, successful, beloved and visual trilogy of books in literary history and used his creative vision to turn it into one of the most important, successful, beloved and visual movie trilogies in cinematic history and was hailed as genius for doing so by all the greats from Spielberg to Eastwood to Scorsese and you don't think he's brilliant? As Brian in The Life of Brian would say: "There's just no pleasing some people."

Sep 1 - 02:40 PM

Master King Sexington

Tyler Jones

Pretty much everyone says Kubrick is brilliant, but most of his work is based off of a novel or inspired by another work. Jackson is a good director and The Frighteners is probably his most enjoyable movie. Now I don't want LotR fans attacking me because I said that because those are epic movies, but enjoyable really doesn't seem to apply to them

Sep 1 - 10:46 PM

Mikeal420

David Goldman

I agree, Kubrick is perhaps the greatest director of all time, and just about all of his films were based on (or at least inspired by), popular novels. This is not to say their work is not original though. The books these films are based on told a story, the movies that were inspired by them depicted the story it told. Classical painters do the same thing when depicting stories from the Bible or Classic Literature, and it doesn't make their work any less interesting or original. In fact, the existence of a novel that tells the whole story often makes us appreciate the art (paintings or film) even more.

But I do disagree with you that LOTR was not enjoyable, it was an epic of monumental proportions that still managed to be entertaining too (It should of been longer even, a big budget series on HBO might of done it justice)

Sep 2 - 03:47 AM

dracus

Cap Nord

I agree with your comments regarding the LOTR's being longer. Unless you've seen the extended versions of the movies, you haven't really seen LOTR's. All three movies became so much better when the extended versions came out and it must have been very frustrating for Jackson to have been forced to cut them down to the inferior shorter versions that were first released in the theatres.

After listening to the commentaries on the extended versions, I look forward to the day that he actually gets to release the full versions that we have yet to see, something that he expects New Line Cinema will want him to do for a future anniversary release.

Sep 2 - 06:29 AM

dracus

Cap Nord

So, he's not brilliant until he cooks up a great original work created for the screen. I guess that means 99.99% of the other so called brilliant directors in the history of cinema are not that brilliant either.

Sep 1 - 01:15 PM

aconline

Adam Collins

[b]Frightners Ruled[/b]
Frightners was overlooked. I think it is a great film. But I would like to see Pete direct something new and fresh. He is at the helm but not directing Halo. Hmmm....I wonder why? Maybe because it is a video game movie. He cant risk his rep on that. Now he at the helm of this, but again, not directing. Hmmm....

Let's face it, he can do whatever he wants. The first LOTR movie paid for the whole trilogy. The second 2 were pure profit, for the most part. Then the dvd sales were through the roof. Now they keep re-releasing them. The are the modern day Star Wars. What is sad is that people buy all 3 editions. Then he made King Kong. Could have spent a lot less money and made just as fabulous a movie. My theory is, he wanted to make these, but he is afraid that they wont make the $$ that his last 4 movies has.

Write something else with Fran Walsh. I'll see it.

Sep 1 - 02:24 PM

Mr. Glass

First Last

He is PRODUCING Halo and The Dam Busters, there is a big difference between producing and directing. The next movie he'll actually be directing is The Lovely Bones, which is going to be a return to smaller movies for him (i.e. Heavenly Creatures, anyone???). He is a brilliant director, and if you are going to fault him for involving himself with adaptations and remakes then you should also be faulting Steven Speilberg (who has built a career on remakes and adaptations) - or even George Lucas (who came up with one good idea and has been milking it for the last 30 years or so). Jackson has nothing to prove.

Sep 3 - 12:27 PM

medicineman

Kim Hutton

[b]ARE YOU MENTAL???[/b]
Jackson took one of the most important, successful, beloved and visual trilogy of books in literary history and used his creative vision to turn it into one of the most important, successful, beloved and visual movie trilogies in cinematic history and was hailed as genius for doing so by all the greats from Spielberg to Eastwood to Scorsese and you don't think he's brilliant? As Brian in The Life of Brian would say: "There's just no pleasing some people."

Sep 1 - 02:40 PM

Sibelius

Sibelius Sibelius

Hmm... I wonder if some people missed the fact that Jackson is PRODUCING the Dambusters movie, NOT directing.

Sep 1 - 02:53 PM

Mr. K

K Mr

Now, if Jackson were to remake GHOSTbusters, that would be a whole different thing. BRILLIANCE!!!

BILL MURRAY DAN AYKROYD ANDY SERKIS as SLIMER

Sep 1 - 03:48 PM

vader_of_vjun

Timothy Maddocks

BASTARD! Why can't people leave classic movies alone instead of raping them? Only a two year old would scoff at the original Dambusters. I hated LOTR, but my beef wasn't with Jackson, it was with Tolkein. Now I have good reason to hate Jackson. What a turd.

Sep 1 - 05:41 PM

medicineman

Kim Hutton

[b]WHY ARE YOU CALLING JACKSON A BASTARD?[/b]
The Dambusters that you saw and the Dambusters Jackson will produce is only a remake in the strictest sense and here's why. When the original Dambusters came out in 1955, most of what really happened was still classified as top secret by British intelligence and it was only when it was finally declassified did the world find out all the amazing facts of the mission. Since then, everyone involved in the top secret mission have been trying to get their whole story told in a new movie. Jackson has had a lifelong fascination of the mission ever since he heard about it as a child and through his research, he has become one the world's leading authorities on the real story. Christian Rivers, Jackson?s animation director on King Kong will make his directorial debut on this $40 Million movie and WETA will be constructing 7-10 full scale replicas of the Lancaster Bombers for realism. Jackson is promising one of the most interesting and most realistic WWII aerial movies ever made. So, why are you and others like you beating Jackson over the head for this?

Sep 3 - 01:07 PM

vader_of_vjun

Timothy Maddocks

Because Jackson's Dambusters will run for over 3 hours (with and EE coming out of DVD later, mind you), will be riddled with special effects, have poor dialogue and banal acting, just like everything he has done!

Sep 3 - 11:30 PM

medicineman

Kim Hutton

Thousands "may" agree with your "moronic" assessment of Jackson's movies, but hundreds of millions around the world "have" proven and "will" continue to prove that they don't agree with you. You obviously don't have much of an attention span or intelligence to enjoy lengthy movies, so in that case maybe you should stick to Jimmy Neutron cartoons instead of making yourself look stupid with such remarks.

Sep 4 - 06:37 AM

emmint

Elaine Minter

In response to vader_of_vjun that is not what Peter Jackson is doing. What he's doing is bringing it up-to-date. Kids these days don't watch black and white they prefer colour and more special effects. The original brilliant dambusters film couldn't show the stuff that modern film makers can. So if kids won't watch the original it has to be filmed again otherwise the war and what the 617 squadron did could be left to legend and forgotten.

Jul 14 - 09:41 AM

emmint

Elaine Minter

In response to vader_of_vjun that is not what Peter Jackson is doing. What he's doing is bringing it up-to-date. Kids these days don't watch black and white they prefer colour and more special effects. The original brilliant dambusters film couldn't show the stuff that modern film makers can. So if kids won't watch the original it has to be filmed again otherwise the war and what the 617 squadron did could be left to legend and forgotten.

Jul 14 - 09:41 AM

Master King Sexington

Tyler Jones

Pretty much everyone says Kubrick is brilliant, but most of his work is based off of a novel or inspired by another work. Jackson is a good director and The Frighteners is probably his most enjoyable movie. Now I don't want LotR fans attacking me because I said that because those are epic movies, but enjoyable really doesn't seem to apply to them

Sep 1 - 10:46 PM

Mikeal420

David Goldman

I agree, Kubrick is perhaps the greatest director of all time, and just about all of his films were based on (or at least inspired by), popular novels. This is not to say their work is not original though. The books these films are based on told a story, the movies that were inspired by them depicted the story it told. Classical painters do the same thing when depicting stories from the Bible or Classic Literature, and it doesn't make their work any less interesting or original. In fact, the existence of a novel that tells the whole story often makes us appreciate the art (paintings or film) even more.

But I do disagree with you that LOTR was not enjoyable, it was an epic of monumental proportions that still managed to be entertaining too (It should of been longer even, a big budget series on HBO might of done it justice)

Sep 2 - 03:47 AM

dracus

Cap Nord

I agree with your comments regarding the LOTR's being longer. Unless you've seen the extended versions of the movies, you haven't really seen LOTR's. All three movies became so much better when the extended versions came out and it must have been very frustrating for Jackson to have been forced to cut them down to the inferior shorter versions that were first released in the theatres.

After listening to the commentaries on the extended versions, I look forward to the day that he actually gets to release the full versions that we have yet to see, something that he expects New Line Cinema will want him to do for a future anniversary release.

Sep 2 - 06:29 AM

Mikeal420

David Goldman

I agree, Kubrick is perhaps the greatest director of all time, and just about all of his films were based on (or at least inspired by), popular novels. This is not to say their work is not original though. The books these films are based on told a story, the movies that were inspired by them depicted the story it told. Classical painters do the same thing when depicting stories from the Bible or Classic Literature, and it doesn't make their work any less interesting or original. In fact, the existence of a novel that tells the whole story often makes us appreciate the art (paintings or film) even more.

But I do disagree with you that LOTR was not enjoyable, it was an epic of monumental proportions that still managed to be entertaining too (It should of been longer even, a big budget series on HBO might of done it justice)

Sep 2 - 03:47 AM

dracus

Cap Nord

I agree with your comments regarding the LOTR's being longer. Unless you've seen the extended versions of the movies, you haven't really seen LOTR's. All three movies became so much better when the extended versions came out and it must have been very frustrating for Jackson to have been forced to cut them down to the inferior shorter versions that were first released in the theatres.

After listening to the commentaries on the extended versions, I look forward to the day that he actually gets to release the full versions that we have yet to see, something that he expects New Line Cinema will want him to do for a future anniversary release.

Sep 2 - 06:29 AM

dracus

Cap Nord

I agree with your comments regarding the LOTR's being longer. Unless you've seen the extended versions of the movies, you haven't really seen LOTR's. All three movies became so much better when the extended versions came out and it must have been very frustrating for Jackson to have been forced to cut them down to the inferior shorter versions that were first released in the theatres.

After listening to the commentaries on the extended versions, I look forward to the day that he actually gets to release the full versions that we have yet to see, something that he expects New Line Cinema will want him to do for a future anniversary release.

Sep 2 - 06:29 AM

TheIceGhost

Harry Myland

Is anyone else getting sick of remakes? Has creativity truly died in Hollywood? I know creativity isn't dead, I hear great ideas for movies, books, comics, tv shows etc. etc. everyday but all the people currently in charge of entertainment look to remakes.

Instead of turning a good film into a remake, why don't they re-release the original movies in theaters? This way the great films they're remaking into mediocre flicks can be accessed to a new generation and will give Hollywood no excuse not to make new and original movies, or make features of books that haven't been done before.

Why is Sundance so popular now? ...and INDIE-shows like it...although some would argue Sundance isn't really indie anymore. Maybe because Indie films are new, fresh, and original (for the most part)...Hollywood needs to step back and figure out their dire situation before we're delt with 1,000 CGI movies about animals or another remake...but sadly I doubt this is going to happen.

...and to my thoughts on the LOTR, I point you to Randall Graves' comments from Clerks II "...there's only one Return, and it's not of the King, it's of the Jedi." Hope that doesn't make the 'uber-fans' puke :)

Sep 2 - 12:33 PM

ProducerPaul

Paul Barrett

Never mind that Return of the King was written 30 years before Jedi ;-)

Sep 2 - 06:14 PM

TheIceGhost

Harry Myland

Heh...very true, but I'm not trying to garner negatives upon J.R.R Tolkien because LOTR is without question an acheivement...yet my comment stands, regardless. :)

Sep 2 - 07:08 PM

vader_of_vjun

Timothy Maddocks

Yes, never mind.

Sep 2 - 08:49 PM

ProducerPaul

Paul Barrett

Never mind that Return of the King was written 30 years before Jedi ;-)

Sep 2 - 06:14 PM

TheIceGhost

Harry Myland

Heh...very true, but I'm not trying to garner negatives upon J.R.R Tolkien because LOTR is without question an acheivement...yet my comment stands, regardless. :)

Sep 2 - 07:08 PM

vader_of_vjun

Timothy Maddocks

Yes, never mind.

Sep 2 - 08:49 PM

TheIceGhost

Harry Myland

Heh...very true, but I'm not trying to garner negatives upon J.R.R Tolkien because LOTR is without question an acheivement...yet my comment stands, regardless. :)

Sep 2 - 07:08 PM

vader_of_vjun

Timothy Maddocks

Yes, never mind.

Sep 2 - 08:49 PM

Thundaar

Paul Fairbrother

I would like to see Jackson remake star wars 1-3. And Kubrick, by the way, was warped.

Sep 3 - 05:37 AM

Mr. Glass

First Last

He is PRODUCING Halo and The Dam Busters, there is a big difference between producing and directing. The next movie he'll actually be directing is The Lovely Bones, which is going to be a return to smaller movies for him (i.e. Heavenly Creatures, anyone???). He is a brilliant director, and if you are going to fault him for involving himself with adaptations and remakes then you should also be faulting Steven Speilberg (who has built a career on remakes and adaptations) - or even George Lucas (who came up with one good idea and has been milking it for the last 30 years or so). Jackson has nothing to prove.

Sep 3 - 12:27 PM

medicineman

Kim Hutton

[b]WHY ARE YOU CALLING JACKSON A BASTARD?[/b]
The Dambusters that you saw and the Dambusters Jackson will produce is only a remake in the strictest sense and here's why. When the original Dambusters came out in 1955, most of what really happened was still classified as top secret by British intelligence and it was only when it was finally declassified did the world find out all the amazing facts of the mission. Since then, everyone involved in the top secret mission have been trying to get their whole story told in a new movie. Jackson has had a lifelong fascination of the mission ever since he heard about it as a child and through his research, he has become one the world's leading authorities on the real story. Christian Rivers, Jackson?s animation director on King Kong will make his directorial debut on this $40 Million movie and WETA will be constructing 7-10 full scale replicas of the Lancaster Bombers for realism. Jackson is promising one of the most interesting and most realistic WWII aerial movies ever made. So, why are you and others like you beating Jackson over the head for this?

Sep 3 - 01:07 PM

vader_of_vjun

Timothy Maddocks

Because Jackson's Dambusters will run for over 3 hours (with and EE coming out of DVD later, mind you), will be riddled with special effects, have poor dialogue and banal acting, just like everything he has done!

Sep 3 - 11:30 PM

medicineman

Kim Hutton

Thousands "may" agree with your "moronic" assessment of Jackson's movies, but hundreds of millions around the world "have" proven and "will" continue to prove that they don't agree with you. You obviously don't have much of an attention span or intelligence to enjoy lengthy movies, so in that case maybe you should stick to Jimmy Neutron cartoons instead of making yourself look stupid with such remarks.

Sep 4 - 06:37 AM

Mr. K

K Mr

[b]Perhaps Mr. Jackson was born out of wedlock.[/b]
...you asked.

Sep 3 - 06:15 PM

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