One of the cornerstones of Australian cinema is Peter Weir’s highly acclaimed 1981 war drama “Gallipoli” which was instrumental in making Mel Gibson a star and influenced many war films around the globe that followed.
Now in an extensive interview with The 7:30 Report (via TVNZ, Peter Jackson revealed that he’s considering a new film about the famed WWI operation to be ready in time for the 100th anniversary in 2015.
For those unfamiliar, the Battle of Gallipoli took place over nearly eight months in 1915 along the Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey where British, French, Australian and New Zealand trips joined in an ultimately failed attempt to capture Istanbul from the Ottoman Empire.
Ultimately nearly half a million died during the campaign which today is still most strongly felt in Australia and New Zealand. It was the first major battle Australia was involved in and the first undertaken by a joint military formation, the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC). Today, ANZAC Day is a public holiday on April 25th which commemorates the landings’ anniversary and holds the same significance in both countries as Memorial Day does to the United States.
Jackson said in the interview he had considered making a film of the battle from a New Zealand perspective years ago to complement Weir’s film. Now however he has been thinking of doing it “from a combined Australian and New Zealand point of view. I don’t think that we need necessarily to tell a film from a New Zealand perspective because the Anzac tradition, the Australian and New Zealand, were so intertwined in that particular campaign that I think it would be a mistake.”
He adds that his film would expand in its depiction of the battle as Weir’s film only moves to Turkey in its final act and covers events of early August. “To me, it’s a remarkable part of our history and Peter Weir obviously made a great movie but Peter’s movie was set around events of August 7th, August 8th, 1915. Gallipoli was a seven or eight month long campaign and that story is yet to be told on film, so I’d like to do that” says Jackson.
Jackson’s grandfather was at Gallipoli and won a distinguished conduct medal, while Jackson himself was involved in the restoration of the only movie film known to have taken of the Anzacs at Gallipoli, a newsreel from 1916.