Iron Maiden's 'Flight 666' Doc Takes Off

Iron Maiden will follow the April 21 worldwide debut if its new documentary, "Flight 666," with a variety of video and soundtrack album packages in May.

The May 26 roll-out will include DVD and Blu-Ray editions of the film, which documents the headbangers' 2008 Somewhere Back In Time world tour and won the Best Documentary prize at this year's South By Southwest Film Festival. Both packages will include the full "Flight 666" as well as bonus material and additional concert footage culled from 16 shows on the tour. A limited edition DVD will also be available, albeit with the same content. Maiden will also release a two-CD companion album of live material, as well as a limited edition two-LP picture disc.

Directed by Sam Dunn and Scot McFayden of Banger Productions, "Iron Maiden: Flight 666" features both on-stage and behind-the-scenes footage of the tour, for which the group rented a Boeing 757 -- piloted by frontman Bruce Dickinson -- in order to play 24 countries in six weeks. The plane allowed Maiden to be self-contained, carrying its entire production in the cargo hold.

"We thought, 'Hang on a moment; this is such a historical event in the history of metal. No one's ever done this before. We need to document this. Why not take a [film] crew out with us?' " drummer Nicko McBrain tells Billboard.com. "So we had six cameras at each show, and they were with us backstage and on the plane and wherever we went, really -- it was kind of a love/hate thing with Banger. But I think it's a stunning piece of film...on what it's totally like on the road with Iron Maiden -- especially with Bruce up front in the 757."

"Iron Maiden: Flight 666" will be shown in theaters worldwide on April 21. Locations are listed at ironmaiden.com.

The group, which won the fan-voted Brit Award for Best British Live Act this year, just finished its tour at the end of March. McBain says the group is enjoying some time off but plans to start writing its next album in November with plans to hit the studio in January, with another world tour to follow.

"Whether or not we go with an airplane again, I don't know -- but it worked out so well," McBain notes. "We'll have to see. Let's get the music done first, eh?"