Peter Jackson's highly anticipated First World War archive feature film They Shall Not Grow Old is to receive its broadcast premiere exclusively on BBC Two on Sunday 11 November at 9.30pm, following its World Premiere at the London Film Festival in October. The film forms part of the BBC's commemorative coverage around the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day.
Co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW, the UK's arts programme for the First World War centenary, and Imperial War Museums, in association with the BBC, They Shall Not Grow Old has been created exclusively with original footage from Imperial War Museums' film archive and audio from BBC archives.
They Shall Not Grow Old uses the voices of the veterans combined with original archival footage to bring to life the reality of war on the front line for a whole new generation. Footage has been colourised, converted to 3D and transformed with modern production techniques to present never before seen detail.
Created to mark the centenary of the First World War Armistice, the internationally renowned director Peter Jackson (The Hobbit, The Lord Of The Rings) combined his personal fascination with the period and his Academy Award-winning directorial skills to bring the First World War to life in a way never seen before.
Peter Jackson, Director and Producer of They Shall Not Grow Old, says: "I wanted to reach through the fog of time and pull these men into the modern world, so they can regain their humanity once more - rather than be seen only as Charlie Chaplin-type figures in the vintage archive film. By using our computing power to erase the technical limitations of 100 year-old cinema, we can see and hear the Great War as they experienced it."
Tom McDonald, BBC Commissioner, says: "It's a great honour to broadcast Peter Jackson's extraordinary film, which brings the realities of World War One vividly to life."
They Shall Not Grow Old is directed by Peter Jackson, produced by Peter Jackson and Clare Olssen and edited by Jabez Olssen. Co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW and Imperial War Museums in association with the BBC, and commissioned by Tom McDonald, Head of Commissioning, Natural History and Specialist Factual, for BBC television.
Produced by WingNut Films and Executive Produced by House Productions. Supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Special thanks to Matthew and Sian Westerman with additional support from The Taylor Family Foundation, The Moondance Foundation, Welsh Government, Scottish Government, British Council, Tim and Sarah Bunting, Jacqueline and Richard Worswick and one anonymous donor.
Complementing the broadcast premiere of They Shall Not Grow Old, a special behind-the-scenes 30-minute Peter Jackson documentary under the What Do Artists Do All Day? strand, will be broadcast on Monday November 12 at 7.30pm on BBC Four.