Beatles, Peter Jackson to Make Film From ‘Let it Be’ Sessions

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The Beatles (Photo: © Apple Corps Ltd.; used with permission)

Fifty-five hours of never-released footage from 1969 of The Beatles during the Let It Be studio sessions is being compiled into a new film by Academy Award-winning director Sir Peter Jackson.

The new film, announced January 30, will be based around the unreleased footage of the group in the studio, shot between January 2 and January 31, 1969. These studio sessions produced The Beatles’ Grammy Award-winning album Let It Be, with its Academy Award-winning title song. The album was eventually released 18 months later in May 1970, several months after the band had broken up. The untitled film, from Apple Corps Ltd. and WingNut Films Ltd., is currently in production and the release date will be announced “in due course.”

The filming was originally intended for a planned TV special, but organically turned into something completely different, climaxing with The Beatles’ legendary performance on the roof of Apple’s Savile Row London office — which took place exactly 50 years ago on the day of the announcement of the new film.

Related: The Beatles’ rooftop performance

Sir Peter Jackson (Photo: Travis Graalman; used with permission)

In the January 30 announcement, Peter Jackson said, “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.”

From the announcement: Although The Beatles were filmed extensively during the 1960s–in concerts, interviews and movies–this is the only footage of any note that documents them at work in the studio.

The Let It Be album and movie, having been released in the months following The Beatles’ breakup, have often been viewed in the context of the struggle the band was going through at that time.

“I was relieved to discover the reality is very different to the myth,” continued Jackson. “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.

“I’m thrilled and honored to have been entrusted with this remarkable footage–making the movie will be a sheer joy.”

Jackson will be working with his recent WW1 documentary They Shall Not Grow Old partners, producer Clare Olssen and editor Jabez Olssen. The footage will be restored by Park Road Post of Wellington, New Zealand, to a pristine standard, using techniques developed for the WW1 film, which has been nominated for a BAFTA for Best Documentary.

This film is being made with the full co-operation of Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison.

Following the release of this new film, a restored version of the original Let It Be movie directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg will also be made available.

Best Classic Bands Staff

2 Comments so far

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  1. Kenny
    #1 Kenny 1 February, 2019, 18:15

    It’s about time. Beatles fans have been waiting so long to see this intimate and creative footage. I’m glad they are finally doing it before we are all gone. The Beatles will always be popular throughout the following years in my opinion and it’s great that future generations will see this footage but it is the people who actually lived through Beatlemania that will appreciate this the most.

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  2. Rikatic
    #2 Rikatic 2 February, 2019, 04:43

    wonder if there’ll be any words of wisdom?

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