It is hard to see Peter Jackson nowadays directing anything but grand epic adventure films. However, like all great directors, that is not how he got his start. While promoting his new documentary series The Beatles: Get Back in an interview with Uproxx, The Hobbit director reminisced about one of his early films Dead Alive (or Braindead known elsewhere in the world). In the interview, Jackson revealed that a 4K remaster of the 1992 horror-comedy is in the works stating, “we’ve been held up a bit by doing this Beatles film, but we are trying to remaster all those early films…” He continued by saying:
"So we are doing a remastering and whole digital 4K thing and it looks great. But we’ve been trying to do all that in between Beatles stuff, and that’s been put on a shelf for a while. But, hopefully, within another year or so they’ll come out remastered."
The film which follows a zombie outbreak caused by a hybrid rat-monkey was far from a box office hit when it came out, but since its release almost 30 years ago it has become a cult classic. It starred Timothy Balme, Diana Penalver, Elizabeth Moody, Ian Watkin, and was co-written by Jackson.
To a certain generation, Jackson is a filmmaker that is only known for his contributions to Middle-Earth and his ambitious remake of King Kong, but hopefully, this remaster will help fans go back and discover a side of the director that has not been seen in decades. Jackson was mainly known for out-there genre comedies and without films like Dead Alive or The Frighteners we would never have gotten the fantasy epics that would define his modern career.
Remastering older films in 4K seems to be all the rage right now with companies like Scream Factory or Arrow Video bringing such films as Wes Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes as well as the first five Halloween movies to the format. Last month Paramount brought the original Scream, another horror classic from the 90s, to 4K for the first time. While it is not clear if this film will get a physical 4K version or just a digital edition, it is safe to say that the film will have never looked better since Jackson himself is overseeing the project.
Currently Dead Alive is not the easiest film to come by in the physical market, which makes this release extra exciting, and the filmmaker's other early work could see the same treatment in the future. Jackson’s next directed project, The Beatles: Get Back releases on Disney+ on November 25. For all the latest news on the director, stick with Collider.
It's long enough to listen to 'Abbey Road' more than ten times.
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