Apple Corps Ltd and WingNut Films Ltd have announced a new documentary on The Beatles, made by Academy Award-winning director Sir Peter Jackson. The new film will be based around 55 hours of never-released footage of The Beatles in the studio, shot between January 2-31, 1969. These studio sessions produced their classic album Let It Be, which was eventually released 18 months later in May of 1970, several months after the band had broken up.
The filming was originally intended for a planned TV special, but 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 today (1/30).
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.”
“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 honoured 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 Jackson’s recent WWI documentary film.
The untitled film is currently in production and the release date will be announced at a later date. 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 the film, a restored version of the original Let It Be movie directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg will be released as well.