Peter Jackson to Helm Beatles Documentary with 'Let It Be' Footage
Published Jan 30, 2019Peter Jackson has revealed plans to make a new Beatles documentary, using archival footage of the band's Let It Be recording sessions.
The project is in collaboration with the Beatles' record company Apple, and it has gained approval from Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, as well as John Lennon and George Harrison's widows, Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison.
NEW FILM PROJECT - We are proud to announce an exciting new collaboration between The Beatles and the acclaimed Academy Award winning director Sir Peter Jackson. pic.twitter.com/7e0h95FOWV— The Beatles (@thebeatles) January 30, 2019
Jackson has access to 55 hours of footage that was originally filmed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg during the group's 1969 sessions at Abbey Road.
Lindsay-Hogg edited a film out of the footage, though the resulting Let It Be from 1970 has been out of circulation for decades, and multiple reissue attempts have failed. Apple does plan to re-release it following the completion of Jackson's new film, though.
"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," Jackson said in a statement about the upcoming film. "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."
It also, however, captures a period in time when tension between the band members was at its peak.
A scene with Harrison walking out on the filming a few days in was infamously cut from Lindsay-Hogg's original film, as were other incidences that the particular members band were unhappy with. It's unclear if these darker moments will be explored in Jackson's film.
"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," he said. "I'm thrilled and honoured to have been entrusted with this remarkable footage. Making the movie will be a sheer joy."
Jackson may be best known as the man behind the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, but he moved into documentary filmmaking with last year's They Shall Not Grow Old, utilizing previously unseen footage from World War I.