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Part 4: Peter Jackson and Quint discuss THE DAMBUSTERS remake!!!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with Part 4 of 5 of the interview I did last weekend with Peter Jackson. Part One focused on TEMERAIRE, the new fantasy series Jackson has optioned. Part Two focused on Jackson's next directorial film, THE LOVELY BONES. Part Three focused on Jackson's involvement bringing HALO to the big screen. To read any of those interviews, click on the links above.

Of all the topics we discussed, Jackson seemed to be most talkative about DAMBUSTERS, the remake of the British war film of the '50s. Fans will know that Jackson has an affinity for period aerial combat, which definitely shows in the chat below. You'll find Jackson talking about why this period of WW2 fascinates him, what he and director Christian Rivers will be able to bring to the remake that they could not do in the original, as well as his thoughts on the rather controversial aspect of Guy Gibson's dog's name. Enjoy!

QUINT: We should talk a little bit about DAMBUSTERS...

PETER JACKSON: Yeah, anything you'd like to talk about... DAMBUSTERS... It's one of those ones, without wanting to make it sound like a rerun of KONG because KONG is my favorite movie, but DAMBUSTERS was a movie that I... When I was a kid I saw a great double feature of DR. NO and DAMBUSTERS on a Sunday afternoon at a cinema here and both had a great affect on me. It was the first time I had ever seen a BOND film as well. DAMBUSTERS encapsulates a lot of things I really love. I am a big fan of the 1950s British war movies where they were made 10 years after the war, often made with complete access and cooperation with the real people that were involved, heard true life stories. There's a level of authenticity to them. There's a whole slew of them and, really, of all those true stories DAMBUSTERS is one of the most remarkable.

And it's a great melding of action/adventure with bureaucracy, which appeals to me. As well as the climactic act, which is obviously the raid itself, what I liked about the original film and the true life events, something that we won't be changing with our telling of the story, is the way that this scientist, Barnes Wallis, had to convince the government of this crazy idea to develop what seemed like an impossible thing; a bomb that weighed something like 9 tons, I think it was, that could bounce on the surface of a lake.

And the British government were being beset by crazy inventors all the time. There was a continual stream of people harassing the government, saying they've invented the ultimate death ray that will take out the Germans and everything. Times of war can bring out the best in people, but it's also a chance to make the nutcases shine and make themselves heard as well.

So, Barnes Wallis was regarded as being something of an eccentric really, when he first presented the case. He had this real uphill battle that took years to convince the government and the bureaucracy that this could work. Slowly, he chipped away at them and I loved that side of the story. It's got a slightly dry humor to it. It is something that the British do really well that no other country really excels in quite as much is the eccentric inventors just kind of tug away and tug away and they always get underestimated by other people, but they often come through at the end. The British actually invented a lot of things, radar being one of them, that helped them win the war, as well as the Americans getting involved, ultimately, which was the turning point.

But 1943 is also interesting, the year of DAMBUSTERS, because it is one of the dark years of the war. The war hadn't quite reached that point where it became obvious that the Nazis could be defeated. The Allies had suffered quite a few defeats. The way it happened in time, it was great for morale. There's a bit of political intrigue in it, too, because the Americans and the Russians were both on to Churchill thinking that the British were not actually doing enough in the war. The Russians were getting hammered on the Eastern Front and the Americans were in the Pacific and the English were seen as being sort of holed up on the island and what are they actually doing and contributing?

So, Churchill was extremely thankful of this raid because it did prove that the British were able to strike a fairly resounding blow against the Nazis, do their bit in the war.

It's also another one of those cinematic experiences that we haven't quite nailed yet with the technology that exists today. We haven't really seen a World War 2 low level bombing attack that has been done with all the power of CG that really make you feel like you're really participating in that raid. They were flying incredibly low, barely missing the treetops.

QUINT: That was a really great part of the original. I love seeing it in films when they set up something to be nearly impossible and then they make it really impossible. They had a tough time flying at 200 feet or whatever it was and then were told they had to be no higher than 60 feet off the ground...

PETER JACKSON: Yeah, they thought 150 feet was the level and then they kept dropping the bomb during the tests that would just sink. It didn't bounce because it was too high and had too much downward momentum, so they had to go lower and lower, made even more difficult because they had to fly at night.

They flew at that level right from Britain and into Germany to stay under the radar. They knew that if the German Night Fighters were able to track them that they would be absolute mince meat. They had no choice but to fly under the radar, which means they were flying at only 40 or 50 feet. Some of the pilots that we've spoken to were saying that they had a split second in the darkness to see that they were flying towards high tension power lines and they a split second to decide if to go over them or if they were going under them. They said they often just went under the power lines, these big 4 engine bombers.

It's also remarkable the way... This is the kind of story that I like. It's not just a flying story, but the fact that in addition to the bureaucracy and the hurdles and challenges that Barnes Wallis went through when building the bomb and designing the bomb, they realized that it was such a precision, such precise flying that was required that they were going to have to get a special squadron to do it because they couldn't rely upon an ordinary squadron, so they had to hand pick the best people they could find and form a new group. And they only had 7 weeks to find these guys, to build the modified aircraft, to train... and during that 7 week period, they couldn't even tell the guys what the target was.

They put a squadron together starting from nothing to basically employing and managing 700 people, with all the ground crew and support people and the office people. The first few days, when the clock was ticking, was spent getting envelopes and rubber bands and pads and pens and ink and everything because they didn't have anything in this squadron, but they had this incredible job to do in 7 weeks time.

Guy Gibson, who formed the squadron and was given the ultimate authority to get the guys together, train then and ultimately lead the raid... by the time he actually took off that night, by all accounts he was physically pretty wrecked. He could barely stand up. He'd seen the doctor the day before the raid, and obviously nobody knew about the raid because it was secret, but the doctor said to him that he should have a week in bed. He just sort of laughed. Then (the doctor) offered him pain killing pills because he had some really bad stress stuff... he could hardly walk. Of course, he couldn't take anything for the pain because it would dull his (reactions).

All that human part of the story would be great to do and makes it a helluva lot more than just a flying film.

QUINT: I know that in the original they changed the shape of the bomb for security/military purposes. I would assume that you're going to have the bomb as it was...

PETER JACKSON: We've already got out bomb built! We went over to England in May and we measured up all the original bombs there and Weta have just finished an exact copy of it. We're about to start building the mechanism to spin it under the plane now. It's one thing to be making movies, which is enjoyable, but I do love all the research and the history and I love building a copy of the bouncing bomb and building airplanes. Just that historical aspect of it is really one of my favorite things.

In this case it's particularly good because Christian (Rivers) gets the hard job of directing the movie and I get all the fun of just helping out with all the research and stuff. I'm having a great time!

Christian's started doing animatics. We haven't got a screenwriter yet. We're just in the process of choosing now that we have the rights squared away. It's a bit like the situation we had making both KONG and LORD OF THE RINGS, there's an aspect to the story that you know will be in the film regardless of how the script develops, so we've started to pre-vis the entire raid and Christian's been working on that for a couple of months now. We're actually able, at the moment, to sit down and watch about half the raid.

QUINT: Is there anything else that has been declassified by the British government that you're able to include?

PETER JACKSON: It's not so much... What's happened in the last 40 or 50 years, which wasn't really easy for the filmmakers in 1955, was that most of the people that were being portrayed were alive still. There's no one being a particularly bad person in this story, but the bureaucracy and the amount of antagonism towards Barnes Wallis when he was developing this bomb was slightly toned down in the original film because some of the people who were antagonistic towards him were obviously alive and they didn't want to embarrass people unnecessarily.

So, the truth about what he had to go through and the hoops he had to jump through and the people that tried to squash the development of the bomb... that story can be told in a way that's slightly more blunt now than it could be told in the '50s.

QUINT: While it's a minor point in the film, I think most people that have seen the original are going to want to know what you're going to call Gibson's dog in the new film.

PETER JACKSON: We're not sure. We haven't really thought about that yet, to be quite honest. We've just been working on the animatics and finding a writer. When we do find a writer, that's obviously going to be one of the topics of conversation. Christian and I haven't really given it much thought.

It's a situation where you're damed if you do and damned if you don't. If you go one way, people are going to say we've sold out to political correctness. If you go the other way then you're obviously going to be inadvertently offending people. So, it's a no-win scenario.

QUINT: I mean, I had always heard about the film and the use of the dog being called "Nigger." What was surprising to me was how integral the dog's name was to the actual raid.

PETER JACKSON: Right, right. It's not even just the name of his dog. It was used as a code word for when they breached the bomb.

QUINT: So, it's not just something you can right away dismiss. You can either be safe and ignore it or you can be historically accurate, you know?

PETER JACKSON: I know. That is the question. I guess it's a decision we don't have to make today. At some point we'll have to make the decision and whenever that happens we'll just see how we feel at the time.

You know, not just the name of the dog, but there is controversy in the whole bombing campaign. There's a lot of antagonism now, especially in the UK and Canada, as well, towards what (the British) did in the war. You know, the fire-bombings of the German's houses, which is absolutely horrific, but I just think it's important... I think there's a job documentary filmmakers should do and anybody is welcome to do a documentary about the Dambusters or the bombing campaign from the perspective of 2006, but we don't really feel it's our job, and I know that Christian feels pretty strongly about this, that we're not wanting to make a movie that tells the story of the Dambusters from the 2006 political perspective.

We want to ground the film in 1943. We want to ground the film in what was happening in England at that time. What were the pressures, what was happening, what the Nazis were doing in 1943, why they had to be stopped, why the war had to end somehow. The world of 1943 is very much where this film is going to be set, not the political world of 2006. That is the job of documentary filmmakers, not feature filmmakers.

QUINT: You said Weta's already build the bomb. I take it you're going to go for the Weta special, miniatures and model work combined with CGI?

PETER JACKSON: Yeah. Richard Taylor's been quietly building a Lancaster bomber, which has actually been a little difficult to hide in the Workshop! (laughs) The Lancaster bomber is a huge plane, so we've been building a Lancaster bomber over the last 2 to 4 months, which is our prototype to make molds from, then we're going to make about 10 more of them.

QUINT: Life-sized?

PETER JACKSON: Yeah, life-sized, yeah. We've got it at Weta Workship at the moment a fullsized Lancaster sitting in pieces and we're taking molds from it and from those molds we'll make fiberglass copies for the fullsized ones for the movie. We finished making a miniature of one of the dams and we've started on the next.

We've known we wanted to do DAMBUSTERS for quite a few months even though we didn't get the rights completely tied up until a few weeks ago, but I knew that HALO was coming up and we needed to devote a lot of the miniature resources... Richard's only got a certain amount of manpower and a certain amount of space and I know that when HALO finally kicked in big time it was going to dominate what they could do at the workshop. So, what I've been doing is getting some of the (work) for DAMBUSTERS to be done over the last few 2 or 3 months while its been quiet.

We've got the Lancaster made now, we've got a bomb made, we've got the first of the miniature dams made and we're just working on the 2nd dam. In terms of what Richard's doing, he's sort of got the bulk of the DAMBUSTERS work finished now, which obviously means he's got everybody free for HALO now.

I've had to just juggle the schedules around a little bit and get things made. I didn't have the luxury of being able to wait until DAMBUSTERS was greenlit to start work because I could see there would be a clash for the resources we've down here.

Anyway, it all worked out well and we're probably going to actually start shooting some of the miniatures for DAMBUSTERS in the next few weeks. One of the reasons we've been doing the animatics for the raid is to start to plan the shots so Christian knows what shots he wants to do. We've got the miniature damn built and we'll start shooting some of the shots. (laughs) This is shooting bits of the movie before we've even written a script for it or even thought about a cast for it. It's an interesting way of making a film.

QUINT: Well, there's no way you're making DAMBUSTERS and not busting a dam.

PETER JACKSON: Not busting a dam, no! And obviously we're not having to lock off what the characters are saying to each other in the plane. We're really just dealing with the wide shots of the planes attacking the dam, so however it's dealt with in the script we know we're going to be doing shots that will be needed for the movie. Alex Funke and the miniature guys are about to start work on the dam attack and Digi (Weta Digital) have been working on it as well. We've got a Lancaster bomber built in the computer, doing quite a bit of research...

It's still very difficult to find the accurate specifications of the bomb and the bomb release mechanism because they modified the bombers to be able to carry this big bomb under the belly, to be able to spin it and then release it. There is 2 or 3 photos that exist of the original, but the British never really kept accurate records of it because it was so secret. I guess if there were records they still haven't really been released.

What's ironic is that one of the planes that took off that night crashed in Germany, was shot down, and the bomb survived. Everybody expected that if a plane did get shot down that the bomb would explode. It was a top secret bomb and the English were actually terrified that if the Germans found the bomb that they would use it against English dams. The English were really terrified that it would give the Germans a way to strike back.

So, they always had the feeling that if a plane was lost, the bomb would explode, but there was actually a plane that did crash and the bomb survived intact. The Germans dismantled it, they drew it, they measured it, they did blueprints of it, which are accessible today. So, the best information about the bomb and how it was used is actually the German's drawings, which is kind of ironic.

QUINT: Has Christian always wanted to direct?

PETER JACKSON: Oh yeah. For sure. Yeah, yeah. He wrote to me when he was a school kid about 15 years ago. He sent me drawings and pictures that he'd done. He'd done sort of science fiction and comic book stuff. He was about 15 years old. I didn't really get any fan mail back then. This was about the time of MEET THE FEEBLES, I guess. I thought this kid was really, really clever and as soon as he left school I got him to come and do storyboards for BRAINDEAD for me.

He's done storyboards for every film. In recent times the storyboards have become computer animatics, they've sort of developed that way. He did some computer animation around the time of THE FRIGHTENERS. He actually spent some time being one of the animators doing the movie after he finished the storyboards and then he's done some second unit directing for us on LORD OF THE RINGS and KONG, some effects stuff. He did some directing of Andy Serkis on KONG, when I couldn't be on the mo-cap stage because I was in the cutting room. Christian was supervising the animation of KONG as a character and he directed Andy.

So, he's just been working his way up, wanting to direct films. You can feel it that it's time now. I was always keen to try to find something for him or something he wanted to do.

Independently of that, I've been tracking DAMBUSTERS for quite a few years. I'd asked my agent what was happening with it about 10 years ago and he said that Mel Gibson was doing it. For a while it disappeared and then a year or two ago I heard that it had resurfaced again and people were talking about a remake. I found out that neither Mel nor Icon was attached to it and Studio Canal inherited the rights. I talked to Christian about it because I just thought that that might be something that might be good for him to do and I was certainly keen to do it. He'd seen the original film and was a fan of the original film.

QUINT: Have you talked about casting at all?

PETER JACKSON: No, we haven't talked about names, but what we have talked about... Our casting conversations have really been about the pilots and flying crew and casting people that were the right age. A couple of the key pilots that night were 20 years old. One of them, an Australian, Les Knight, he couldn't drive a car and he couldn't ride a bike. He didn't know how to ride a bike yet and he didn't have a driver's permit, but he had learned how to fly a Lancaster bomber. He was 20 years old and there were a couple more of them that were 20.

I just think that actors playing those roles... the actors themselves should be 20. I think often in war movies, and you do see it all the time, and sometimes its because people need to cast established names that tend to be older, tend to be late 20s and early 30s... Even the leader of the attack, Guy Gibson, in the original film he was played really brilliantly well by Richard Todd, but I would guess, I'm not sure, but I would guess that Richard Todd was probably 32 or 33 when you see that film. The real Guy Gibson was 25. He was commanding this attack at the age of 25 and commanding 20 year old pilots. I find that remarkable. I just think back to what I was like when I was 20 and I couldn't imagine myself doing what they were doing.

So, our casting discussions have really been about being quite determined to not be putting 35 year olds in these roles, trying to find young actors. There are not many stars who are 20 years old, they just don't really exist, so I would imagine we'll be looking for unknown young actors. We can go with older actors for Barnes Wallis and some of the other characters. That'll be an interesting role to cast, too. Michael Redgrave did such a brilliant job in the original film. Nobody immediately springs to mind for Barnes Wallis...

There you have it, squirts. One last piece of the interview to go. Keep an eye peeled tomorrow night for the final chunk of my interview with Jackson. I'd like to thank everybody for bearing with us during these rather inconvenient growing pains the site has been having this week. Hopefully we'll have all the kinks out of the system soon.


Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 15, 2006, 3:51 a.m. CST

    first again?

    by Colonel Kane

    i am practically giddy!

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 3:56 a.m. CST

    There's something strange in your neigbourhood.

    by DerLanghaarige

    Who you gonna call? Dambusters!

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 4:11 a.m. CST

    so he's keeping the dog's name then?

    by Lost Prophet

    Good on him. Provided that he doesn't Americanise this it stands a chance of not sucking balls. If it does end up being poo, well at least the original will still be there. Not overly thrilled at this, not at all

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 4:11 a.m. CST

    What peter Jackson is doing today reminds me of....

    by IndustryKiller!

    the 80's. jackson really seems to be amassing alot of young new hungry talent to do some fantastic and thrilling products. It reminds me of the 80's when you had upstarts like Spielberg, Lucas and Zemeckis doing these excellent high budget thrill rides that everyone, regardless of taste, could get behind. He's got some interesting projects here and i like who he's brought on board to helm them so let's hope it all works out.

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 4:11 a.m. CST

    Damn PJ is tha man!

    by spiderinside

    This movie sounds awesomely rad! After LOTR and Kong, and the craziness he's gonna pull off with Halo, I have no doubt this flicka show is gonna be tha shiznit! PJ doing a war movie, hells yeah!

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 4:17 a.m. CST

    "But that was before racism was bad..."

    by Cash Bailey

    So sayeth David Brent when Gareth brings up the same point in THE OFFICE. Funny stuff.

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 4:20 a.m. CST

    So where's the HALO interview?

    by Cash Bailey

    Gone. Along with the LOVELY BONES one.

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 4:29 a.m. CST

    Who cares????

    by dragon-lord

    I don't remember the original...nay, let me clarify, I have I never even HEARD of this movie before now. So, now THIS is what Jackson is re-making next? Puh-lease.

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 4:34 a.m. CST

    dragon lord

    by Lost Prophet

    the original is an absolute classic of it's kind. It is however, old enough for a potential remake not to fuck it up. It will be nigh on impossible to replace the cast though, and this is where the problem will lie. The solution that he will come up with will be to make it American pilots carrying out the raid and only feature British actors playing Barnes Wallis and the beuarocrats. Which will piss me off mightily.

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 4:42 a.m. CST

    I care dragon-lord

    by IndustryKiller!

    so you can move along now thanks

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 5:02 a.m. CST

    I hope they do it right

    by vee8

    And DON'T cast American actors for British parts. I mean, don't we have any good actors ourselves?! Otherwise it will just turn into another Hollywood story of how America won the war single-handed, and that's not meant to be insulting to Americans, without who I readily admit we could not have won the war, but we WERE fighting alone for over two years before Pearl Harbour y'know! Now, how about a CGI remake of the Battle of Britain?!

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 5:21 a.m. CST

    Best line in the film:

    by Sulis

    Bureaucrat: [rough précis] NO WAY are you going to get a Lancaster bomber to experiment with! These things cost a fortune, the RAF would never consider it, etc., etc. Barnes-Wallis: [apologetically] Would it help if you told them I designed it?

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 5:32 a.m. CST

    I don't mind if they cast Americans

    by Lost Prophet

    just ones that can do the accent. And act. What worries me (especially from that interview where Jackson jumped straight on the antipodean pilot) is that they will tamper with the story, and Americanise the characters- Guy Gibson being played by Hayden Dickheadssen and will be from Texas. Or some such horrid shit like that.

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 5:52 a.m. CST


    by King_Knut was a Wellington he asked for (and had designed). I totally respect Peter Jackson's love for the original, and given how well he re-did Kong, I believe he might not totally balls this one up. Nonetheless, Jackson ain't directing, so I'm a little apprehensive at his letting a first-timer have a crack at such a classic as this. Most importantly, will they be keeping the original score? One of my old schoolteachers wrote words to the Dambusters Theme and turned it into one of the UK's most popular hymns...

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 6:22 a.m. CST

    Please...not another jingoistic war movie...

    by Kaiser13

    I hope PJ will tell the truth. Please no slow motion shots, no children choirs from the off, no heroisms, no patriotism (and I think it would be VERY odd if the British would act now as if they have fought for freedom...hahhahaha...yeah...fighting for freedom and occupiang and raping the whole so called third world...)... Show the reality of war. Show the casualities of the bombing. Show the 1000 warprioners (mostly from Ukraine) who were killed by this attack...and show how useless this attack was. Heres a quote: "The Eder drains towards the east into the Fulda, flooding farmland and several villages. Estimates show that before 15 May 1943 water production on the Ruhr was 1 million tonnes, which dropped to a quarter of that level after the raid. In terms of deaths: 1,294 people were killed,[citation needed] 749 of them Ukrainian POWs from a camp just below the Eder Dam.[citation needed] After the operation Barnes Wallis wrote, "I feel a blow has been struck at Germany from which she cannot recover for several years". However, on closer inspection, Operation Chastise did not have the military effect that was at the time believed. By 27 June, full water output was restored, thanks to an emergency pumping scheme inaugurated only the previous year, and the electricity grid was again producing power at full capacity. The raid proved to be costly in lives (more than half the lives lost belonging to allied POWs), but in fact no more than a minor inconvenience to the Ruhr's industrial output. However, the pictures of the broken dams proved to be an immense morale boost to the Allies, especially to the British, still suffering under German bombing."

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 6:30 a.m. CST

    Well done you.

    by King_Knut

    You can quote. Another point against this remake - the original was written by the incomparable R C Sherrif (Journey's End). I'm not sure anyone without an intimate personal knowledge of the services in action would be able to do this story and the people portrayed justice.

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 6:48 a.m. CST

    Any chance your german, Kaiser13?

    by Lost Prophet

    fuck off with your revisionist History. This is a TB about a film, not about the many sins of the British Empire. It is about one innately dramatic operation. Why would they want to ruin it with a long convoluted scen of POW's drowning. It's a classic- and those comments you just made are exactly what could well go wrong with the remake.

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 6:50 a.m. CST


    by Quint

    The Halo and Lovely Bones interviews aren't gone. I moved them out of the top spot in order to not flood the entire left column with interviews. We've had tons of movement on the right side, so they've probably already been pushed off the page, but I've linked them at the beginning of this article, so they will be easily accessible.

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 7:20 a.m. CST

    Peter Jackson = Karaoke Film Director

    by hypnotron

    I just cannot see any point in remaking this film!

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 7:48 a.m. CST

    Combine The Hobbit with The Dambusters!!!

    by Miami Mofo

    So there's no screenwriter yet, eh? OK, I'll volunteer. However in my version those low-flying Lancasters won't be dropping any 55 gallon drums containing high explosives -- they instead shall be dropping barrels which contain Bilbo (the barrel rider) and his Dwarf companions who act as commandos -- while the Dwarves set the explosive charges in order to blow the dam, Bilbo throws rocks at the German searchlight operators, distracting them from their assigned task. He then packs the Dwarves back into the barrels and they all escape when the dam blows with Bilbo riding (clinging to?) the lead barrel as the once calm waters of the reservoir rush turbulently through the opening in the bombed-out dam. How exciting!!! Haven't quite figured out where Smaug will fit in though.

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 8:21 a.m. CST

    This is the least exciting PJ project IMO.

    by brycemonkey

    The others I am interested in but retelling this story is completely pointless. Who cares, really? About 100 people in the world give a shit about this and one of them is PJ. As a studio exec this is a project I would kill.

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 8:36 a.m. CST

    Oh wait, I've got it

    by Miami Mofo

    The reason the Dwarves volunteered for this most dangerous mission was that Gandalf had told them that Smaug had moved his treasure from under the Lonely Mountain to beneath the waters of the reservoir. Looks like I've got to write a thrilling air-to-air combat scene between Smaug and the Lancasters. Hmmm, maybe I'll have Smaug burn Guy to a crisp as retribution for his political incorrectness.

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 8:43 a.m. CST

    They already remade the Dam Busters

    by rev_skarekroe

    It was called Star Wars! Hey-o!

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 8:45 a.m. CST

    By the way ...

    by Miami Mofo

    Gandalf was lying. ;~)

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 8:49 a.m. CST

    One last thing

    by Miami Mofo

    In my version, Barnes Wallace and Gandalf are one and the same.

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 9:18 a.m. CST

    You need to know a little about German goalkeepers

    by Mickey The Idiot

    But this 'remake' is already a classic. ...and this one ain't bad either.

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 9:23 a.m. CST

    Why not make something new?

    by neonist

    I don't know, to me it's just a shame. He has every resource and opportunity to make some really cool, new, unique films. But instead we get remakes and adaptations- when we walk into the theater we already know all the details and the ending. It's absurd to me.

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 9:27 a.m. CST

    Oh come on..

    by Mickey The Idiot

    I think he actually makes the case quite well why it's worth remaking Dambusters - it is a fascinating combination of science and heroism. You could do a lot more on the back story to this now and the story is worth telling.

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 9:28 a.m. CST

    There's been a BBC special on the Dambusters recently .

    by Ringwearer9

    I saw it on PBS. It contains all the historical detail that Jackson is regurgitating here. He probably saw it too. This is the same schtick he pulled out for Lord of the Rings and for King Kong "I'm such a fan of this! I'm so interested in historical detail!" And then he trots out the dwarf tossing jokes and the zombie-orcs, the stampeding Brontos and the machinegunning bugs off a person. Don't buy the hype. He gives a shit about Dambusters the way a lumbergjack gives a shit about a virgin forest. He sees it as something nostalgic that he can mine for cash.

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 9:49 a.m. CST

    you really hate Jackson don't you ringy?

    by Lost Prophet

    chill out. I am not overly fond of this idea, but at least it has potential. BTW- there is nothing wrong with zombie directors- any reasonably talented director can shift genres. So why not Jackson? Danny Boyle, for example, has directed many different types of film.

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 9:50 a.m. CST

    The title for its porno counterpart..."Dykebusters"

    by Cletus Van Damme

    This stuff practically writes itself.

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 10:22 a.m. CST

    Why not a zombie director? Well ...

    by Ringwearer9

    ... if he keeps directing his movies that boringly show that his heart is still back with the zombie movies, then's bad. It just is. And all Jackson's movies seem to be like that, like he's longing for a simpler, zombie chomping time.

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 10:44 a.m. CST


    by SPECTRE Agent

    Where's my promised Extended Kong DVD already?

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 11:03 a.m. CST

    the dog's name reminds me of that version of

    by durhay

    the Aristocrats joke where the punchline is offensive instead of the story.

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 11:09 a.m. CST

    Such as Heavenly Creatures?

    by Lost Prophet

    That stank of Zombie, that one did.

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 11:21 a.m. CST

    Peter Jackson Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and...

    by JohnGalt06

    LOVE THE BOMB! Woo-hoo, war movies ooh-ahh!

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 11:23 a.m. CST

    How did the girls act in "Heavenly Creatures"?

    by Ringwearer9

    Kinda like murdering zombies, no?

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 11:25 a.m. CST

    Quint's an asshole.

    by Frankenblogger

    There's no reason why he couldn't have posted ONE FUCKING INTERVIEW WITH ALL THIS SHIT. I'm bored now. And when we finally get the Hobbit info, all Jackson will say is "I'd really love to do it but have no clue when and nobody's asked me to." There's your Hobbit interview. Fuck you, Quint. You fucking hack.

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 11:33 a.m. CST

    As I said before

    by ROBE

    This movie would never be made by a British movie maker as most of them are Guardian reading traitors. As for Kaiser's comment about the 3rd world, the British Empire ran it better than the tinpot dictators who took it over with their Swiss Bank accounts.

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 11:37 a.m. CST

    WOW WEE!!!!

    by IAmLegolas


  • Sept. 15, 2006, 11:47 a.m. CST

    Who Cares About This Movie?

    by The Ender

    I know I dont

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 11:53 a.m. CST

    Oi Robe! What's bad about reading the Guardian?..

    by Jugs

    ..It's great for Cricket updates..

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 11:54 a.m. CST

    If you say so.

    by Lost Prophet

    I disagree. You loon.

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 11:57 a.m. CST

    I think Robe is referring to a certain Breed

    by Lost Prophet

    of British (especially English) hating Guardian writer. Anyone that read Richard Williams appalingly anti-English coverage of the world cup knows that is tue

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 11:59 a.m. CST

    Oh yeah, Kate Winslet just screamed zombie in HC.

    by Tinfang

    Your post only get more idiotic BungRingwearerNein, if that's possible. On another note: Um, let's see, OK with a character (dog or not) called Nigger but Tolkien is a racist? Is that the theme from the Twilght Zone I hear? All freggin' right! Another masterpiece from PJ, er-uh, I mean Christian.

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 12:04 p.m. CST

    Casting Suggestions for Barnes Wallis

    by Mentok

    Gary Oldman or Hugh Laurie. Both are known English actors of some prestige that are about the same age as Wallis was during the war. Both are fantastic actors.

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 12:12 p.m. CST

    Barnes Wallis = Bruce Willis = flames on Kong

    by performingmonkey


  • Sept. 15, 2006, 12:36 p.m. CST

    I'll give you Heavenly Creatures, Tinfang...

    by Ringwearer9

    ... despite the wierd clay figures that the girls dance around with, and the bashing in of the mother's skull, and the gleeful way Jackson rejoices in their being parted forever at the end of the movie (if it had been a zombie movie he'd have their heads explode), but I'll give you Heavenly Creatures as his least zombie-influenced movie. Do you admit that every other movie he's done has that zombie movie flavor?

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 1:02 p.m. CST

    Motion capture Barnes Wallis!

    by Mgmax

    That's what they should do-- scan all of Michael Redgrave's scenes into a computer, have Andy Serkis play him in motion capture scenes, then map the real Redgrave onto Serkis! That's way better than having an actor play the part. Seriously, Redgrave is PERFECT in that movie, it's hard to think who could do it half as well, so no doubt it will be one of the only two English actors on the planet as far as Hollywood's concerned, Anthony Hopkins or Ian McKellen.

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 1:09 p.m. CST

    Yes, Mentok! Hugh Laurie must be in this!

    by RefriedBeaner

    also, Ringwearer9 is an idiot who probably has a dartboard with PJ's face on it and keeps a portfolio of PJ magazine clippings to which he's cleverly blacked out the eyes and added horns.

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 1:09 p.m. CST

    Put Patrick McGoohan in it in a cameo.

    by Uncapie

    He's one of the few, if not, the last guy alive from that film and he's not getting any younger. Props to "Number 6" please.

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 1:13 p.m. CST



    Sounds decent... Seems really comforting to work with a guy like PJ...

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 1:27 p.m. CST

    ringwearer is right

    by moondoggy2u

    PJ's inner child is that little bastard that pulled ants apart and torched them via his trusty magnifying glass. I'll grant you, LOTR is an amazing movie full of grand scale and a level of detail thanks to his direction, but it's not without flaws: some ham-fisted direction, spotty editing here and there, and some descent into toilet humor. Still, for all its flaws, the film has faaaaaarrr more in its plus collumn than its minus side. King Kong, on the other hand, is PJ unleashed. There is obviously a market for such behavior and low-brow direction, but one can't deny that there is also a huge group out there that really doesnt care for that sort of thing; a little bit goes a long way for me (probably Ringwearer, too). Yeah, he makes Speilburg look more subtle than a Corleone, but he sure isn't afraid of the wide-angle lense, either, like 99% of today's crop of film makers.

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 1:32 p.m. CST

    I hope this isnt a double post--Ringy is right about PJ

    by moondoggy2u

    PJ's inner child is that little bastard that pulled ants apart and torched them via his trusty magnifying glass. I'll grant you, LOTR is an amazing movie full of grand scale and a level of detail thanks to his direction, but it's not without flaws: some ham-fisted direction, spotty editing here and there, and some descent into toilet humor. Still, for all its flaws, the film has faaaaaarrr more in its plus collumn than its minus side. King Kong, on the other hand, is PJ unleashed. There is obviously a market for such behavior and low-brow direction, but one can't deny that there is also a huge group out there that really doesnt care for that sort of thing; a little bit goes a long way for me (probably Ringwearer, too). Yeah, he makes Speilburg look more subtle than a Corleone, but he sure isn't afraid of the wide-angle lense, either, like 99% of today's crop of film makers.

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 1:35 p.m. CST

    Sorry about the double (or triple) post, guys.

    by moondoggy2u

    This goddamn site still can't seem to get its act together. It ate my post twice before posting it. Even then, I wasn't sure it took it due to the insane and unneeded 1 minute delay, so I posted it a fourth time. Again, sorry guys and gals.

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 2:41 p.m. CST


    by Mr. Nice Gaius

    "ringwearer is right". --- Don't ever say that again.

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 2:54 p.m. CST

    nice gaius

    by moondoggy2u

    I know--I felt dirty even typing it. Please understand, I still think Ringwearer is completely off his rocker and waaaaayyyyyyyyy over the top in his hatred for PJ. I merely dislike certain flaws in an otherwise obviously talented director. Hope that doesnt put me in the straight-jacket club...

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 3:38 p.m. CST

    I admit nothing,

    by Tinfang

    since that implies guilt. Nor will I acknowledge the same. But, yes, of course the orcs and other nasties in LoTR can be considered zombie-like in their repugnant behavior. Can the same be said of the Elves, Men, Dwarves, Maiar(well, except for Saruman the Gaulieter)and Hobbits? Hardly! Granted Faramir was a bit less high-Numenorian than he ought to have been but I feel that's a mere quibble. His character certainly wasn't raped (Gimli, on the other hand...) or some other such nonsense.

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 5:36 p.m. CST

    The British were holed up in their Island?

    by peter skellen

    I guess North Africa, Burma, the battle of the Atlantic, the Enigma Code and the RAF raids on Germany etc, must have escaped Mr Jackson's dubious grasp of history. Read a few books Pete. My anticipation for this film has suddenly dimmed somewhat at this and the prospect of a 'whacky inventor' stereotype.

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 6:38 p.m. CST

    You know, Jackson's subversive cynicism might work ...

    by Ringwearer9

    ... for Dambusters, if he does what he did to Lord of the Rings and King Kong. He thought Gandalf was as bad as Saruman. Maybe he'll try to make the British look as bad as Hitler. Hey, it would be a brave take on the whole Dambusting operation.

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 7:12 p.m. CST


    by Schnorbitz

    George Baker is also very much still alive - had a great part in an episode of Spooks last year. Will love him forever for I Claudius and Wexford. As for Barnes Wallace... Needs a sort of cross between Jim Broadbent, Robert Lindsay and Hugh Laurie. Maybe we'll get someone like Daniel Radcliffe or Eddie Redmayne for the pilots. Can I play the bloke who answers the phone in HQ, saying whether or not the bombs have hit?

  • Sept. 16, 2006, 12:24 a.m. CST

    Good stuff, Quint,

    by DudeOne

    This kind of history is little-known, it's good to hear more about it from Peter Jackson!

  • Sept. 16, 2006, 2:39 a.m. CST

    "[it proved] the British were able to do their bit..."

    by Gandalf The Gaye

    Yeah, apart from being fucking INVADED, you stupid cunt.

  • Sept. 16, 2006, 5:07 a.m. CST

    Richard Todd is still alive!

    by Schnorbitz

    According to imdb. Would have been 35 when the film was made. As is Bill Kerr (who appeared with Tony Hancock on many radio programmes).

  • Sept. 16, 2006, 10:28 a.m. CST

    Don't mention the war

    by fitzcarraldo2

    "the Americans and the Russians were both on to Churchill thinking that the British were not actually doing enough in the war." Um, yeah. Apart from the British and Commonwealth forces defeating the Axis in North Africa (the fist time they had been defeated). And defeating the Luftwaffe in 1940 and sinking the German surface fleet and inventing a whole bunch of war-winning technologies (radar, sonar, proximity fuses, jet engines etc) and breaking the enigma codes and reading all the Nazi messages and defeating the Japanese in Burma we did nothing much, really. I will take my shame with me to my grave.

  • Sept. 16, 2006, 4:56 p.m. CST


    by dragon-lord

    Your vote for a Dambusters remake is noted. However, consider your request to have me move along as ignored, since you are not the duly appointed arbiter of this forum regarding who may or may not post their opinions here.

  • Sept. 17, 2006, 12:26 a.m. CST

    I have to think PJ does this right

    by SaintDilbert

    After reading this interview, how does anyone think this movie is going to have an American bend to it? I could see Mel doing that, given his demonstrated love for the Empire, but Jackson? The dog's name. OMG what a nightmare. You keep that name and the only press you get will be about the dog's name. At least that is the way it will unfold over here on the hysterical, frothing at the mouth, PC side of the pond. It's a fuckin' 'break into regular programming news bulletin' when the governor of California calls Puerto Ricans and Cubans 'hot blooded'. Without the first amendment, that movie would be banned for using that dog's name. I can't wait to see this film. I caught the original late one night in the early 80s and was just entranced by it. I just hope this Christian guy is worth what PJ thinks of him.

  • Sept. 20, 2006, 5:30 a.m. CST

    How can I offer my services?

    by PFOM

    great news about Peter Jackson doing a Dam Busters remake. i'm just about to retire from the RAF after 32 years and my fater used to work on Lancasters (he still helps out restoring aircraft at a local museum. I did my first tour at scampton and know all the guys (no pun intended) who work in Air Traffic Control there now, how would I contact Mr jackson to offer our services? If the original airfield is used for filming it could take some in deapth liaison with the Red Arrows to stop them getting in the way! can anyone giveus any pointers on how to contact the production company? PFOM