They Shall Not Grow Old Trailer: Peter Jackson’s Groundbreaking WWI Documentary


Although Peter Jackson is acting as producer and co-writer on the upcoming YA fantasy film Mortal Engines, that is not the only thing that has been keeping him busy lately. He has also been working on a unique WWI documentary called They Shall Not Grow Old, which takes old archival footage from The Great War and gives it a huge makeover by adding colour, sound effects, dialogue and, yes, even a 3D transfer. The goal was to create an accurate and immersive historical experience for modern audiences and as far as I know nothing quite like it has been attempted before. The movie already played in theatres and aired on the BBC in the U.K. but Warner Brothers and Fathom Events are presenting it in theatres in the U.S. next month for two days only. They Shall Not Grow Old hits select theatres on Dec. 17th and 27th; check out the trailer after the jump and see what you think.

  • Lior

    There is a remarkable and powerful series by National Geographic called Apocalypse which uses colored WW I footage. I believe there is also one made about WW II.

    There is something truly unnerving about seeing this footage colored so brightly as in this trailer, it immediately eliminates any distance from it and makes it seem ultra real. All the footage in the trailer is low-key. If they’ll go about showing actual carnage and footage from the battlefield, which I assume they will, this could be a very difficult film to watch.

    I wasn’t crazy about that voiceover bit in the middle (“look, mom!”), it seems a little buffoonish, but other than that this looks very impressive.

  • Matt the Kiwi

    I saw this a week ago and, while I would go as far as saying I loved it, it was a little different from what I was expecting. A large chunk of the film is still in B&W but that just increases the impact of when it changes to the restored, colour sections. There’s very little actual battle footage (probably because it doesn’t exist as all the camera men were keeping their heads down) and there’s a bit too much repetition of the same footage. Still a masterpiece in many ways, succeeding mostly by focusing in solely on the trench warfare in France (for a “World” War movie, this feels very contained). Definitely check it out you junkers!