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Peter Jackson Returns To His ‘Disgusting’ Roots

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Peter Jackson hasn’t directed a big budget effects extravaganza since 2014’s The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, but his new film allowed the filmmaker—and his company, Weta Digital—to break new ground on a smaller scale. They Shall Not Grow Old is a World War I documentary that brings archival footage to life with the help of sound, colour, 3D, and other effects intervention. In the process of working on this relatively modest project, the filmmaker realized he was using precisely the tools he needs to resurrect his micro-budget early efforts, namely Bad Taste, Meet the Feebles, Dead Alive (aka Braindead), and Heavenly Creatures.

Even as the world transitioned to HD and 4K, these films have remained largely untouched because Jackson owns the films, and he didn’t want to bring them back unless he had time to work on the restorations himself. By the sounds of it, that time has finally come. “I’m pretty keen to actually just get them back out there again,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “That’s sort of my plan for now: to do a nice little box set—the early years, the naughty years… I’ve done some tests on Braindead, where we took the 16mm negative and put it through our World War I restoration pipeline—and sh*t, it looks fantastic.”

In addition to revisiting his deranged early films, Jackson is open to making another film in the same spirit. “I’m very happy to be disgusting again if the right project comes along,” he said. “It would be interesting to see how disgusting [his wife and co-writer] Fran [Walsh] and I could be in our older age compared to our younger years because we’ve learned a few things since then. We know a little bit more about the world than we did then, so maybe our levels of disgusting could go into whole new places.”

They Shall Not Grow Old is currently in limited release. Check out the trailer below.