Produced in association with the British Film Institute and Trigger Films by Canal Cat Films, The Life and Deaths of Christopher Lee is a unique and innovative documentary feature which uses exclusive new interviews, archive material and multiple forms of traditional and cutting-edge animation to bring one of the world’s leading actors back to life on screen.
A-list directors and actors already confirmed as contributors include Peter Jackson, John Landis and Joe Dante, as well as Christopher Lee’s niece, actor Dame Harriet Walter, all of whom will join members of Lee’s family, friends and professional collaborators in exploring his work and life.
Directed by Jon Spira (Reel Britannia, Hollywood Bulldogs, Elstree 1976), produced by Hank Starrs (Reel Britannia, Being Frank) and executive produced by Adam F. Goldberg (The Muppets Mayhem, The Goldbergs), the documentary is narrated by popular actor and voice artist Peter Serafinowicz (Star Wars, John Wick 2, Guardians of the Galaxy) who plays the voice of Christopher Lee.
The film will feature animated sequences from a number of award-winning artists including legendary illustrator/artist/filmmaker Dave McKean (Sandman, Arkham, Asylum, Mirrormask), artist/animator Astrid Goldsmith (Quarantine, A Funeral in Freiburg) and 2000AD’s Simon Coleby (Judge Dredd, Rogue Trooper). It will also feature puppet work from Arch Model Studios (Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs and Asteroid City, and Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride and Frankenweenie).
Christopher Lee’s story would be fascinating, even if it only went as far as audiences already know; that of an iconic actor who defined the role of Dracula and went from being the star of the 1960s Hammer horror films to a distinguished career encompassing the 007, Star Wars and Lord of the Rings franchises. But there is so much more to it.
Resurrected through animation, marionation and archival treats, Sir Christopher will tell us the wild and unlikely story of his 93 year journey from Italian aristocratic roots through his wartime experiences in the Finnish and British military, his post-war Nazi-hunting spy adventures (which just might have influenced the storytelling of his cousin James Bond 007 creator Ian Fleming), his side career as a Heavy Metal singer and his bizarre and unequalled, acting career which spanned eras in Britain, Hollywood and all across Europe, and culminated in a Guinness World Record for the highest number of screen performances.
Jon Spira comments, “Christopher Lee is a cinematic icon but what is commonly known about him pales in comparison to the true story of this driven, complex, fascinating man. It has been fantastic working with the BFI and our returning creative team from last year’s Reel Britannia to create a really special film which will illuminate and entertain movie fans of all ages.”
Jonathan Ford, Managing Director at AMR adds, “There is so much more to the life and career of Sir Christopher Lee – and who better to tell that story than the man himself? Despite being dead for the past six years, there could be no better candidate for narrator than the Prince of Darkness and Master of Macabre himself. We’re very pleased to have this captivating and ingenious piece of film-making to offer our clients around the world.”