Dambusters remake shoved to back of the queue, again

slice_mortal_engines_peter_jackson_01Pic: collider.com

The good news: once again, Peter Jackson has indicated that his remake of the classic 1955 film, The Dam Busters, is still an ongoing project. The bad news: it has been shunted to the back of the production queue by what sounds like another interminable series of fantasy fiction films.

WingNut Films [will] be producing a feature film based on Philip Reeve’s book Mortal Engines, to be directed by Christian Rivers. The script has been written by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and myself.
Some of you may recall that Christian was going to direct the Dambusters a few years back. Since then he’s kept himself busy, making short films, and directing Second Units on The Hobbit and Pete’s Dragon.
Our involvement in Mortal Engines actually pre-dates Dambusters (which is still happening) – Christian actually worked on Mortal Engines previs [sic] way back in 2009. It’s very exciting to finally get it underway!

This is obviously great news for the writer of Mortal Engines, Philip Reeves. There are four books in this series, and adapting and filming them will keep much of the New Zealand movie industry busy for years to come. But it does mean that the chance of the Dambusters remake hitting the screens anytime in this decade becomes more and more remote.
Jackson obviously included the four words in parentheses above in his statement (‘which is still happening’) to forestall the questions he would inevitably be asked by Dambuster enthusiasts. But if it is ‘still happening’, would he like to give us an update? A comment below would be appreciated.
[Hat tip: Graeme Stevenson]
UPDATE: More about this from the Waikato Times in New Zealand.

23 thoughts on “Dambusters remake shoved to back of the queue, again

  1. Nigel Favill October 25, 2016 / 11:02 am

    Quite frankly Mr Jackson your involvement in the (Re-Make) of a Dambusters film is a joke .

  2. Fabian Soames October 25, 2016 / 11:19 am

    Good job the original few months taken in planning and practising this most auspicious and brave raid didn’t take anywhere near as long as trying to produce a modern feature film about it!
    I think it’s about time a decent, modern take was made on the sheer brilliance and utter bravery of the men involved in the execution of this most dangerous operation was made. Get it done!! Amen

  3. Anthony (Tony) Knight October 25, 2016 / 12:18 pm

    He will not beat the original because second generation rarely does. It will not be faithful to the story so why bother remaking it?
    Why bother when nearly everyone involved has passed away and the original tells the story well, even if not totally historically accurate. In my opinion the impetus has been lost, if it was going to be done it should have been ready for the 70th Anniversary in 2013

  4. Cassandra Cole October 25, 2016 / 12:59 pm

    I found out recently that there were only 20 or so children of the DamBuster Squadron 617. I am 75. Most would be over 70. It would be most interesting for this gradually declining group to have our fathers acknowledged by your making this movie. As the last of people who actually had a relationship with these men, it would be wonderful to see this movie produced before we all are gone. My fathers death changed the course of my life in many ways. Star Wars took years to finish. Get popularity remained. A break in your series of. I use would only in increase enthusiasm for the next. Please consider making this movie a priority. Thank you.

    • John Taylor October 25, 2016 / 7:23 pm

      I agree wholly. There were several crews (and one dam) that didn’t even get a mention in the 1955 film, and they all need to be acknowledged. Out of interest, was your father Colin Cole? If so, I had the pleasure of meeting him a couple of years ago at an event in Retford. Lovely man.

      • Bernard Palmer January 30, 2019 / 2:30 am

        I agree on that too, I met the last 5 aircrew at a few events between 2004 – 2000 and heard about a remake then.
        Maybe it will happen when they have all gone, then no one will be left to comment on the accuracy of the storey in the film.

    • Chris L October 26, 2016 / 4:21 am

      I know well one of the children of one of the pilots. She and her brother would love to see this finished while they can still appreciate it, of that I am quite sure. However, I seem to recall that originally it was supposed to be made to put right some of the wrongful changes made because of the Official Secrets Act still being in play in 1956 and to include more of the story brushed over in the original film. Which generation was it intended to make the film for? The youth who are the equivalent of grandchildren of these men are little interested or aware of the Dambusters, but to the generation of the Dambuster’s children, these men were heroes. Make the damned movie.

      • Susan Bartlam nee Johnson October 26, 2016 / 11:16 pm

        In reply to your comment that the grandchildren are little interested, I can safely contrdict this statment. My children and those of my brother and sister are imensly interested in the Dambusters……especially as my father and their grand father not to forget the great grand children…was one, and spends much of his time being invited and talking to school children of all ages. I and the children are very proud of him. He is the last British Dambuster and how nice it would be for him to see a remake. He is in his 95th year now so Mr Jackson get a mo e on!

    • John large October 26, 2016 / 6:44 am

      I was born on the 31st May 1943, two weeks after the raid.. My father was ground crew Bomber command and I grew up with these men as my heroes. Personally I don’t feel that a new film will be better than the original.

  5. Christine Scott October 26, 2016 / 9:13 am

    I personally would like to see a prequel to the raid. The lives of these men before the raid. I realise it would be difficult as most are passed but all these men had families and stories to tell. I’d like to see that in a film – their lives leading up to the raid and then they could end the film with them flying off

  6. Dom October 26, 2016 / 9:57 am

    Expected to be honest, Buts as Mr Jackson keeps saying “which is still happening ” how about a date?

  7. Lynn Defty October 26, 2016 / 10:18 am

    Although a remake would be interesting there were plenty of other raids which would make excellent films. For example the numerous raids on the Tirpitz. I have a personal interest as my father was shot down during one and I currently give free talks about him. It always irked him that the Lancasters got all the glory when many other bombers and their crews were lost without a mention.

  8. Keven Rector October 26, 2016 / 1:15 pm

    To me it is edifying that family members of the men who executed the raid are as interested in seeing the remake done as those of us who simply fell in love with the movie BECAUSE of the bravery, skill and talented “British Ingenuity” that enabled this raid to be pulled off. I honestly think the now almost 10 year delay in executing the remake is a result of Jackson being AFRAID that the world public will find ANYTHING he attempts in a remake will NEVER be as impressive or glorious as the ORIGINAL 1955 film. And yet – he has demonstrated the skill to be able to pull this off impressively on other films he’s tackled. I too STILL yearn to see it in my lifetime. I can’t BELIEVE he wouldn’t capitalize on the 75th Anniversary of the raid and he has most certainly had the organizational time to do it had he left the Hobbit alone to do it. It would have been an awesome SUMMER FILM launch. I agree with Lynn Defty as well. The documentaries I have seen on the Tirpitz Raids AND Wallace’s Other Earthquake Bombs are very gripping and fascinating at the same time and I agree they would make excellent feature film subjects in of themselves..

  9. kzvxrpl October 27, 2016 / 5:31 pm

    I would like to see the remake, out of curiosity. However, I doubt that it could possibly improve on the original

  10. Nikolaevna November 25, 2016 / 6:15 am

    I lost faith in Peter Jackson after seeing the Hobbit trilogy, which was full of mindless CGI action. I’m glad the Dambusters remake has been pushed further back and hope he never gets to direct it. If anyone deserves a chance at this, it’s either Christopher Nolan or Mel Gibson, both of whom recently directed Dunkirk and Hacksaw Ridge respectively.

    • Keven Rector November 25, 2016 / 8:42 pm

      I could not agree more. Once upon a time, (and I even likely stated it somewhere in the many years of this blog) I thought Jackson would have done a terrific job on remake of this film, but I, like you, have now completely lost faith in him, given his now his almost 10 year long demonstration of complete lack of interest in completing this remake. I so wish Sir Richard Attenborough (A Bridge too Far) was still alive. He could have given the remake, the sensitivity and realism it would deserve. Of Gibson and Nolan, Nolan to me would be my BEST pick for director— given his UK Roots.

  11. Paul Taylor December 3, 2017 / 5:34 pm

    Although I appreciate that certain elements of the original film were inaccurate for various reasons,and in spite of the fact that every remade film I have ever seen has been inferior to the original I still await the opportunity to view a new production

    Unfortunately these days classic films are almost extinct . Although the advanced technical effects are certainly brilliant the content of the films is generally absolute unbelievable drivel.

  12. Arron Bates December 28, 2018 / 11:19 pm

    Now that Mortal Engines is out, is that it has failed in a serious way… there just aint no way that it will be getting its sequels. Next!!

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