||The Beatles announced a new collaboration between the group and the acclaimed Academy Award winning director Sir Peter Jackson. Jackson will create a new film based around 55 hours of never-released footage of The Beatles in the studio, shot between January 2nd and January 31st, 1969, often referred to as "The Get Back Sessions". Jackson's film will be accompanied by a restored version of the original "Let It Be" film, as directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg.
Sir Paul McCartney has recently stated that he would like to see the film come out re-edited to show the band in happier moments rather than the bitterness and discord that many took away from the original 1970 theatrical release.
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, January 30, 1969.
"Let it Be" was first show in theaters in 1970, than on television. It was released on videotape and laser disc, but this will be its first pure, restored release for what we assume will be blu-ray and DVD and possibly a theatrical release as well.
Director Peter Jackson was quoted as saying, "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 Beatle 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.”
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, some of which would become their final album, "Let it Be' and Let It Be movie. Having been released in the months following The Beatle’ 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,” continues 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 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 documentary film which has been nominated for a BAFTA for best documentary.
The untitled film is currently in production and the release date will be announced in due course. This film is being made with the full co-operation of Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono Lennon, and Olivia Harrison.. The Executive Producers are Ken Kamins for WingNut Films and Jeff Jones and Jonathan Clyde for Apple Corps.
Following the release of this new film, a restored version of the original "Let It Be" film directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg will also be made available.
TIMELINE: LET IT BE (movie)
1969: 16mm footage of the Beatles filmed January for proposed TV Special & album, "Get Back"
1969: Film and album shelved for now, new album Abbey Road recorded and released.
1969-70: Footage reworked for movie screening, to fulfill 3 film contract with United Artists.
1970: Theatrical release. Film has been blown up to 35mm, sound is in mono, retitled "Let It Be".