An official trailer has been released for Peter Jackson’s WWI documentary, They Shall Not Grow Old. Jackson, of course, is most famous for his big-budget J.R.R. Tolkien movie trilogies and his equally grand scale epics like the 2005 King Kong remake. However, upon completing the finale to his Hobbit film trilogy back in 2014, the Oscar-winning storyteller decided to recharge his batteries and focus his efforts on crafting a smaller project next, rather than jump right back into the blockbuster game.
As a result, Jackson went and made a documentary about WWI to commemorate the centennial of the war’s conclusion in 1918. The filmmaker spent months going through the Imperial War Museums’ rich historical archives and collecting footage, photographs and other forms of record information from the war, in order to craft a documentary narrative that explores what the war was truly like “using the voices of the men involved” (as the movie’s official synopsis puts it). Further, They Shall Not Grow Old utilizes cutting-edge technology to colorize historical footage and photos from WWI in 3D for the first time.
They Shall Not Grow Old will have its world premiere at the 2018 BFI London Film Festival next month on Tuesday, October 16. It will be featured as part of a special presentation at the festival and will feature a live Q&A with Jackson and host Mark Kermode. You can get a sneak peek at the documentary itself by checking out the trailer below.
Jackson has always been willing to use and experiment with new filmmaking technology on his directorial efforts, even when the final results leave something to be desired (see also: his use of high frame rate photography on The Hobbit trilogy). That continues to be the case with They Shall Not Grow Old and its own attempt to recreate the original colors of the landscapes and people captured in WWI imagery that is quite literally more than a century old now. The effect isn’t entirely convincing in the film’s trailer, but it’s nevertheless fascinating to see what the war might have actually looked like to those who fought in it.
Those who prefer their Jackson movies on the blockbuster side need not worry that the filmmaker is turning over a new leaf, either. The director already has plans to follow up They Shall Not Grow Up with another big-budget venture next year, be it the long-discussed Tintin sequel or something else altogether. Moreover, Jackson cowrote and produced this December’s Mortal Engines movie and will be doing his part to further promote the expensive YA post-apocalyptic novel adaptation over the next few months.
They Shall Not Grow Old will screen in select 2D and 3D theaters in the UK on Tuesday night, October 16. BBC One is planning to air the film on the small screen at a later date.
Source: Trafalgar Releasing