New Peter Jackson-Helmed Beatles Doc Will Feature Hours of Unseen Footage
A planned documentary from director Peter Jackson will be based on 55 hours of never-released footage of the Beatles in the studio. The material was recorded 50 years ago, between Jan. 2-31, 1969, as the group worked on a project eventually called Let It Be.
"The 55 hours of never-before-seen footage and 140 hours of audio made available to us, ensures this movie will be the ultimate ‘fly on the wall’ experience that Beatles fans have long dreamt about," Jackson said in a news release. "It’s like a time machine transports us back to 1969, and we get to sit in the studio watching these four friends make great music together."
The original plan was to edit the footage into a television special. Filming concluded with the Beatles performing an impromptu set on the roof of the Apple building on Savile Row in London. Portions of these sessions were eventually edited into an album and feature-length film, also titled Let It Be. Both were released after the Beatles split.
"After reviewing all the footage and audio that Michael Lindsay-Hogg shot 18 months before they broke up, it’s simply an amazing historical treasure trove," Jackson added. "Sure, there’s moments of drama – but none of the discord this project has long been associated with. Watching John, Paul, George and Ringo work together, creating now-classic songs from scratch, is not only fascinating. It’s funny, uplifting and surprisingly intimate."
The as-yet-untitled film is in production, with a release date still to come. Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison have all reportedly signed off on the project. Jackson's film will be followed by a restored edition of the original Let It Be movie.
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