Dambusters remake: Fry says 2010, we say 2011

UPDATE, 16 August 2014. We were even wronger! Best guess is now 2016 or 2017.

UPDATE, 24 September 2011. We were wrong! Best guess is now 2013 or 2014.

UPDATE, 16 December 2009: Jackson confirms shooting to start in 2010

While he was recently down under in New Zealand, filming a nature programme for the BBC, Stephen Fry gave an interview to the entertainment section of the Wellington newspaper, the Dominion Post. Most of this was about his travelogue, Stephen Fry in America, which was coming up on air down there, but at the end he spoke briefly about his work on the remake of The Dam Busters.
The article is not available on the interwebnet, but I managed to track it down via a library subscription, so I bring it to you here.

Interviewer: Is it true that you have rewritten The Dam Busters?
SF: Yes, well, I won’t say rewritten. The great New Zealand director, Peter Jackson, asked me if I would be interested in writing a screenplay on The Dam Busters. This was fascinating because – I yield to none my admiration to him as a film-maker; he’s astounding – I had no idea he’d be interested in this story.
It turns out, actually, that it was David Frost who had bought the rights to the Paul Brickhill book The Dam Busters and was desperate to find someone to direct it, and he was told by a friend that Peter Jackson had a huge poster of the original film on his wall in his office and David thought, ‘I’ll call him up’, and the deal was struck. Then Peter got in touch with me. Now the original film is a magnificent film – it genuinely is a masterpiece.
Interviewer: And when will we see your version?
SF: 2010.
Dominion Post, Wellington, NZ, 17 February 2009.

The great man says ‘2010’, but I still think he is being optimistic. IMDB Pro has a few people listed as working on pre-production visuals, but no one else, which would indicate that shooting is still some way away.

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17 thoughts on “Dambusters remake: Fry says 2010, we say 2011

  1. Roger January 24, 2010 / 6:34 am

    Just make the Movie will you? Actually, I need a real job. Maybe Peter could hire me to help?

  2. Jim Crawford April 23, 2010 / 4:12 am

    While the original is a ‘classic’, a modern update would be marvellous.

  3. Gareth Johns April 26, 2010 / 3:40 pm

    I was hoping that the new version would be more accurate historicaly than the original film. But using Paul Brickhills book it wont be as the original film was also based on this. A more accurate account is John Sweetmans “Operation Chastise”. Brickhills book although good was never going to be that accurate as most details of the raid were still sceret when it was written. So please make the versionas accurate as poss folks its an even more extrodinary story than the original film

  4. Bob Ryan May 9, 2010 / 11:17 am

    may i suggest the actor James Fox for the part of Barn Wallace as i think he would be perfect for the part

  5. Taylor January 1, 2011 / 4:02 pm

    It will be nice to see a decent film for a change! All this sci-fi rubbish they turn out today. Hurry up and get started; or I won’t be around too see it.

    Bert Taylor Retired.

  6. Warren Thomas January 15, 2011 / 3:31 am

    Hi Guys,
    Has it been absolutely confirmed that It is going to be mad this year?

  7. Shaun January 24, 2011 / 9:31 pm

    I keep trying to get more details on this production, but so many of the related posts are a year or more old. It sounds to me like the production has halted – possibly in light of Jackson taking on the two upcoming Hobbit films. I just hope that the film gets made – the combination of Stephen Fry, Peter Jackson, and the attention to detail of the SFX folks at WETA is a hard one to beat. Fingers crossed.

  8. Dave Smith May 4, 2011 / 1:26 am

    Just as long as our American cousins do not get hold of this, and it finishes up with 30 plus B17’s dropping bouncing bombs wrapped in the Stars & Stripes…

  9. philip croft November 3, 2011 / 12:47 pm

    Well–here we are folks, November 2011, and still no news. Sometimes -‘Silence’ isn’t golden. As someone says above, I too may not live to see it made and released, as i have health issues. I wish he hadn’t even mentioned it, because he must have known that this subject–for a remake, would have raised enormous interest and expectations.

  10. D.W.Biddlecombe January 8, 2012 / 8:22 pm

    Do we really want a remake of this classic 1050s film. Richard Todd gave an outstanding performance of Guy Gibson and was a WW2 vetran albeit in the army. He said in later interviews how he associated himself with the role and the period of time. The music The Dam Busters March by Eric Coates was also a classic of its time.
    The whole atmosphere of the original film summed up the sprit of the age.

  11. Reg Tarrant February 7, 2012 / 12:07 pm

    As a young man saw the original when it first hit the cinemas and thought it just great. However having watched it again a few times on the box one can say the special effects of the dams bursting was pretty grotty. With the modern facilities available now, I bet the new version will be superb.
    One thing please, not the dreadful Mel Gibson to star, and please, it will be for commercial reasons, an American actor will have to star, so no Dick van Dyke accents!—————Very limited choice?
    I agree with Bob Ryan in having James Fox as Barnes Wallace.
    Hurry up please
    Reg Tarrant
    Vendee
    France.

  12. philip croft February 7, 2012 / 1:46 pm

    There’s no denighing that the original film was a product of the immediate post war era, when everything pertaining to our endeavours during that monsterous period, reflected our pride as victors. The British film industry relied heavily on material from our war time exploits.Despite the films constraints both financial and technical, I still enjoy watching it and have no problem suspending visual credibility. As for the ‘rumours’ ( after all this time) surounding a possible remake, I have NO futher expectations from Mr Jackson, who has lead us all a wicked dance in my estimation.
    He should one way or the other either have made a formal announcement

  13. philip croft February 7, 2012 / 1:48 pm

    I wish someone would clear up the fault on this site, I cannot complete my sentances without the bloody type thing jumping all over the place—-

  14. Reg Tarrant February 7, 2012 / 2:41 pm

    Suppose too much to hope Speilberg/Tom Hanks collaboration?
    Cannot think this would be too bad a thing, and beautiful that they were, please no B17’s involved.————That probably knocks the idea on the head?————–What a superb BBC production, Bomber Boys, on Sunday night, with Ewan Mc Gregor and his brother?
    Reg Tarrant.

    • philip croft February 7, 2012 / 4:32 pm

      Yes Sundays programme was superb, and how alike the boys are. Wasn’t that a reshowing of an earlier outing, with upodats ? My ONLY criticism was that we were not treated to the incomparable sound of those beautiful engines—especially when taking off. The music–though pleasant anf suitable, drowned out this treat. It makes you wonder if the programme makers were unaware of this vital feature of these planes—too young perhaps ?

      • Reg Tarrant February 7, 2012 / 11:03 pm

        They did a previous programme on the wonderful Spitfire and I wish now I had recorded it! Ewan actually flew in the twin seater job with the lovely lady pilot Caroline ?[Forgotten her surname?]

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