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Last Updated: Thursday, 31 August 2006, 12:38 GMT 13:38 UK
Peter Jackson to film Dam Busters
Peter Jackson
Filming on the Dam Busters remake is due to start next year
The Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson is to remake classic British war film The Dam Busters, he has told film industry trade paper Screen Daily.

Jackson will produce the movie, with King Kong animator Christian Rivers in the director's chair.

Jackson said it would be "as authentic as possible and as close to the spirit of the original as possible".

The 1954 film told the true story of how Britain developed bouncing bombs to destroy German dams in World War II.

Mel Gibson was going to direct and possibly act in it
Peter Jackson
Jackson says he first saw the film as a child and "really loved it".

"There's that wonderful mentality of the British during the war - that heads-down, persevering, keep-on-plugging-away mentality which is the spirit of Dam Busters," he told Screen Daily.

Based on a book by Paul Brickhill, the original film starred Michael Redgrave as Barnes Wallis, who developed the bomb, and Richard Todd as Wing Commander Guy Gibson, who led the RAF bombing mission.

Jackson asked his agent to inquire about the possibility of remaking the film at the same time as he was securing the rights to the Lord of the Rings trilogy in the 1990s.

Richard Todd pictured in 1974
Richard Todd starred as Wing Commander Gibson in the original
"He came back and said that [film company] Icon had the rights and that Mel Gibson was going to direct and possibly act in it," Jackson said.

"Obviously that didn't happen."

The remake is set to use details of the bombing mission which were still classified at the time the original film was made by director Michael Anderson.

"So much of it was still secret," said Jackson. "They weren't even allowed to show the bomb itself and had to create a fictionalised bomb."

The project is due to start filming next year, with a budget of $30-40m (16-21m).

Television presenter Sir David Frost will be an executive producer on the movie as he owns the rights to the book.

Jackson's next project as director will be an adaptation of Alice Sebold's novel The Lovely Bones.

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