2020 will see the fiftieth anniversary of the Beatles Let it Be album and Peter Jackson has signed on to create a new version of the infamous original documentary. The Lord of the Rings director has revealed that his Peter Jackson Beatles Documentary will be made up of over 55 hours of unseen footage and audio from the vaults, which should be massively exciting for any Beatles fan. Though the record was released after Abbey Road, it was recorded before, so many fans call it the penultimate album and call Abbey Road the final release.
Peter Jackson is just as excited as Beatles fans probably are. The original Let it Be documentary was directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg and was released theatrically in the early 1970s and then released for a short time on home video in the early 1980s. The Beatles fans have been waiting for over 30 years to get a proper version, and while this won't be the same movie, it's going to be massive (plus, the original doc will be released at the same time). Jackson had this to say about his new Let it Be documentary.
"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."
While Peter Jackson describes the Beatles as friends at the time of making Let it Be, the often-told history of the band would say otherwise. Guitarist George Harrison briefly left the group while making the back-to-basics record, while singer/guitarist John Lennon was disengaged due to personal problems at the time. However, upon further inspection of the unreleased footage and audio, Jackson says that he found something quite different. He explains.
"I was relieved to discover the reality is very different to the myth. 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."
Many Beatles fans have been under the impression that the original Let it Be documentary has not been released because of the way that Paul McCartney is portrayed. McCartney is seen trying to keep the band together by getting them all back into playing live in the same room, but tensions from the White Album, where drummer Ringo Starr briefly quit, were still very much with the band. While attempting to keep the band together, McCartney comes off as a bit controlling, which comes to a head during a now infamous scene between he and George Harrison.
Peter Jackson's Let it Be documentary is currently untitled for the time being, but it is in production. With the addition of the original documentary, 2020 is going to be a great year for Beatles fans. Jackson's documentary is being made in full cooperation with Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono, and Olivia Harrison. A release date has not been announced, but it should be revealed soon. The news was first announced via The Beatles Twitter account.
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