Peter Jackson to tackle Kiwi story

NEIL REID
Last updated 05:00 17/08/2014
Dam Busters

DAM BUSTERS: Peter Jackson says his version of the story won't be a re-make of the 1955 film starring Michael Redgrave.

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Peter Jackson's long-held desire to update The Dam Busters looks closer to becoming a reality, with the director indicating that a Kiwi-angled version of the story could be his next movie.

"We don't have a next movie nailed down, but certainly The Dam Busters is one of them [under consideration]," Jackson told Hollywood Deadline.

"There is only a limited span I can abide people driving me nuts asking when I'm going to do that project. So I'll have to do it."

Jackson said the mission to destroy three dams in Germany during World War II had strong New Zealand links; several of the airmen involved were Kiwis, including the mission's last living pilot, 95-year-old Gisborne-born Les Munro.

"It's one of the truly great true stories of the Second World War, a wonderful, wonderful story," Jackson said.

"There's a notable New Zealand connection. It has been 20 years since Heavenly Creatures [Sir Peter's film which starred Kate Winslet and Melanie Lynskey], where we told a New Zealand story. I'd qualify The Dam Busters as a New Zealand story."

Jackson said his long-mooted version of The Dam Busters would not be "a remake" of the 1955 black and white epic "as much as a retelling of the original raid".

The Academy Award-winner has been linked to the new version for almost a decade and had commissioned the construction of replica Lancaster bombers for a test film shoot.

But the project has never formally been given the green light due to his commitments to The Hobbit trilogy.

Jackson was also considering a film version of As Nature Made Him, the story of Canadian man David Reimer who was raised a female after a botched circumcision when he was aged just 7 months.

At the recommendation of New Zealand psychologist and sexologist John Money, who died in 2006, Reimer's parents approved gender realignment surgery on their son and renamed him Brenda. But as a 15-year-old Reimer transitioned to living as a male. He died suddenly in 2005, aged just 38.

Jackson said a film adaptation of As Nature Made Him also classified as a "New Zealand story . . . the doctor who was the cause of that family's misery was a New Zealander . . . Dr John Money," he said.

"Whatever we end up doing in whatever order, we are looking forward to making Kiwi stories."

The final part of The Hobbit, The Battle of the Five Armies is scheduled for release in December. The movie's first trailer premiered at the San Diego Comic Con expo late last month.

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- Sunday Star Times

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