Acclaimed New Zealand film director Peter Jackson has signed on to shoot a trilogy of political films in Australia.
The movies will be based on Lazarus Rising, the memoir of former Australian Prime Minister, John Howard.
“After making The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, I was looking for a fresh challenge,” said Jackson. “John Howard is more than a fantasy writer. He’s a fantasy writer who’s had a long and remarkable political career.”
Jackson said there was so much material in Lazarus Rising that he had no option but film it as a trilogy.
“Lazarus Rising is a long book, with a lot of detail. If you leave out some of Howard’s battles or any of the monsters in the Liberal party, people will get upset.”
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has hailed the Lazarus Rising trilogy as a coup for the Australian film industry and hopes that the movies will lead to a surge in tourism to Canberra. Mr Abbott also confirmed that the Commonwealth would assist with the funding of the films through the sale of public assets.
Production of the first instalment of the trilogy, Lazarus Rising: An Unexpected Journey, is due to commence in 2015.
No details about casting have yet been announced. In particular, Jackson has refused to be drawn on internet speculation that the role of John Howard will be played by Andy Serkis, using motion capture animation similar to his role as Gollum in The Lord of the Rings.