HBO Documentary Films has taken U.S. TV rights to Erik Nelson’s The Cold Blue which tells the story of the Eighth Air Force who flew multiple deadly missions during WWII. The doc will air in June 2019.
The doc, from Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Productions and Creative Differences, features newly restored 4K footage and outtakes, shot by Oscar-winning director William Wyler (The Best Years of Our Lives, Ben-Hur) during the summer of 1943 for his 1944 documentary The Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress. Wyler went to Europe to document the air war in progress and flew actual combat missions on B-17s, during which one of his DPs was killed. All of this raw color footage was recently discovered in the vaults of the National Archives.
“We’re thrilled HBO Documentary Films is giving this breathtaking footage and powerful new documentary a platform,” says Rocky Collins of Vulcan Productions. “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.”
The Cold Blue premiered at AFI Docs, and will screen at the New York Film Festival Saturday, Sept. 29 and Sunday, Sept. 30.
The Cold Blue is produced by Peter Hankoff; executive produced by Allen, Nelson, Carole Tomko, Rocky Collins, Catherine Wyler, Clark Bunting and Dave Harding.