HBO Documentary Films has acquired U.S. TV rights to feature-length doc The Cold Blue from Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Productions.
It also features newly restored 4K footage and outtakes, shot by Academy Award-winning director William Wyler for his 1944 documentary The Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress (pictured).
In 1943, Wyler went to Europe to document the war effort. There, his crew flew actual combat missions on B-17 bombers. One of his cinematographers was killed in the process.
Wyler’s raw footage was recently discovered in the vaults of the National Archives, and director Nelson built the film out of the recovered material after a frame-by-frame restoration.
The Cold Blue is a production of Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Productions and Creative Differences, directed and produced by Nelson. It is produced by Peter Hankoff and executive produced by Allen, Carole Tomko, Rocky Collins, Catherine Wyler, Clark Bunting and Dave Harding.
“After 75 years, the footage has been restored to a condition better-than-new, so we can bring this real-life story of aerial combat to a 21st-century audience,” said Collins, EP for Vulcan, in a statement.
The Cold Blue premiered at AFI Docs and will screen at the New York Film Festival on Sept. 29 and 30, before it debuts on HBO in June 2019.