Peter Jackson Teases Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes From First Four Films

Thanks to films like King Kong and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, filmmaker Peter Jackson is regarded as one of the most ambitious filmmakers of his generation. Before taking on big-budget spectacles, Jackson got his start in the world of low-budget horror, with many of those films getting a restoration for a home video release. The filmmaker recently teased that these early projects were chronicled to collect hours and hours of behind-the-scenes footage.

“I’ve always had video diaries being shot,” Jackson shared with The Hollywood Reporter. “So I’ve got about an hour or two of us shooting Bad Taste, seven or eight hours of us shooting Meet the Feebles, 50 to 60 hours of us filming Braindead, and at least 70 hours of us doing Heavenly Creatures. And it’s not just people talking to camera. It’s actually a guy on the set filming us making the film. So there’s some pretty interesting stuff there and none of it has ever been out.”

It shouldn't surprise fans of the filmmaker that he compiled such extensive documentary footage on his films, with the home video releases of his Lord of the Rings films coming with multiple discs that chronicled the entire production extensively. However, the minimal budgets and reduced shooting schedules seemingly would have prevented Jackson from filming the production process on these films, let alone that the footage would have survived all these decades.

The filmmaker's early efforts are still some of the most beloved films in the genre, with the stories delivering aliens, zombies, drug-addicted puppets, and real-life murders. With Jackson's name being so closely associated with massive productions, the filmmaker decided to revisit those early films and upgrade them to the best quality that technology would allow.

"I’ve done some tests on Braindead, where we took the 16mm negative and put it through our restoration pipeline — and sh-t, it looks fantastic!” Jackson confessed. “I’m pretty keen to actually just get them back out there again. That’s sort of my plan for now: to do a nice little box set — the early years! The naughty years!”

He added, "The mixes on those films were pretty much all stereo in those days, so we’re going to get the old soundtracks out and do a 5.1 mix."

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Jackson most recently helped bring Mortal Engines to life, so it's unclear when this box set could take shape, though it will surely be on any horror fan's radar as it progress is made.

Are you looking forward to adding these early films to your collection? Let us know in the comments below or hit up @TheWolfman on Twitter to talk all things horror and Star Wars!