The new Beatles documentary from Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson is finally ready to see the light of day. After being acquired by Disney, The Beatles: Get Back has now been given a September 4th, 2020 release in North America, with global distribution details to follow.
The blockbuster documentary is comprised of 1969 footage of the Fab Four recording their penultimate record, Let It Be. Some of this footage was previously used by director Michael Lindsay-Hogg in his 1970 film of the same name, which saw release 18 months after the studio sessions — after the band broke up. Lindsay-Hogg’s movie famously captured some of the dynamics that led to The Beatles’ eventual demise, and now Peter Jackson has been granted access to all of the original film, including 55 hours of unused footage and the group’s famous final rooftop concert.
Jackson is working with Park Road Post Production, who helped him restore archival film stock for his World War I doc They Shall Not Grow Old. But Jackson isn’t just restoring Lindsay-Hogg’s old footage; he’s also found more moments of lightness and joy than the original movie revealed. Ringo Starr said, “I’m really looking forward to this film. Peter is great and it was so cool looking at all this footage. There was hours and hours of us just laughing and playing music, not at all like the version that came out. There was a lot of joy and I think Peter will show that. I think this version will be a lot more peace and loving, like we really were.”
Paul McCartney agreed. “I am really happy that Peter has delved into our archives to make a film that shows the truth about The Beatles recording together,” Macca said. “The friendship and love between us comes over and reminds me of what a crazily beautiful time we had.”
And as for Jackson, he sounds like world’s biggest fan. “Working on this project has been a joyous discovery. I’ve been privileged to be a fly on the wall while the greatest band of all time works, plays and creates masterpieces. I’m thrilled that Disney have stepped up as our distributor. There’s no one better to have our movie seen by the greatest number of people.”
Additionally, a restored version of the 1970 film Let It Be will become available after The Beatles: Get Back makes it into theaters. But for now, those details are still being ironed out.
In the meantime, the remaining Beatles are keeping busy. McCartney is writing original music for High in the Clouds, a Netflix adaptation of his children’s book. Tickets to his “Freshen Up” European tour are available now and can be had here.
Last fall, the real fields that inspired “Strawberry Fields” opened to the public for the first time.