Docs

Peter Jackson to direct Beatles archive doc on “Let It Be” recording sessions

Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson is directing a feature length doc about legendary British rock band The Beatles. The doc will make use of roughly 55 hours of previously unreleased footage of ...
January 30, 2019

Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson is directing a feature length doc about legendary British rock band The Beatles.

The doc will make use of roughly 55 hours of previously unreleased footage of the band in the studio, shot between Jan. 2 and Jan. 31, 1969, chronicling the production and recording of the Grammy-winning album Let It Be, including its Academy Award-winning title song. The album was eventually released in May of the following year after The Beatles had broken up amid rumors of conflict and personal struggle.

The footage was originally shot for a TV special, but would be used in the Let It Be documentary film instead, including a surprise rooftop concert.

The as-yet untitled documentary is executive produced by Ken Kamins for WingNut Films, and Jeff Jones and Jonathan Clyde for Apple Corps.

Jackson will reunite with his They Shall Not Grow Old producer Clare Olssen and editor Jabez Olssen. The footage will be restored by New Zealand-based Park Road Post, using techniques developed for the Lord of the Rings director’s WWI doc.

“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 — 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,” said Jackson in a statement.

“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. 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.”

Following the release of Jackson’s film, a restored version of the original Let It Be, directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg, will also be released.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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