“Get Back” documentary in three parts on Disney+ in November
There has been a change of plans for the upcoming Beatles documentary. While originally planned as an hour and a half cinematic release, it has now been expanded to a six hours long TV documentary mini series in three parts.
In an exclusive new article for Vanity Fair, Joe Hagan takes a long look at the upcoming documentary “The Beatles: Get Back”. The magazine has been attending a pre-screening session of the 43 minutes long rooftop sequence of the film. The documentary will run on Disney+ over three nights on November 25, 26, and 27, the article informs us. Peter Jackson, who directed the documentary has had full control over the film and has not been subject to directives from the ex-Beatles or from their company Apple Corps Ltd, he says.
The director of the original “Let It Be” movie, Michael Lindsay-Hogg has also been in touch with Jackson and has been shown comparisons of the image qualities of the two films. The footage has undergone various new techniques to bring out more details. “He showed me a comparison of my Let It Be’s footage and his stuff,” says Lindsay-Hogg, including how McCartney’s hair appeared as a single block of color in the original and “now you can see every single strand of hair.”
Lindsay-Hogg feels it’s Apple’s intention to possibly re-release “Let It Be” a few months after Jackson’s “Get Back” comes out. Jackson says he avoided repeating footage from the original film. Even familiar scenes would use alternative camera angles.
The film will be spread across three episodes and has a total length of six hours, TheBeatles.com informs us. The music has been remixed by Giles Martin and his collaborator Sam Okell.
Because of the wealth of tremendous footage Peter Jackson has reviewed, which he has spent the past three years restoring and editing, “The Beatles: Get Back” will be presented as three separate episodes. Each episode is approximately two hours in length, rolling out over three days, November 25, 26 and 27, 2021, exclusively on Disney+.
“As a huge Beatles fan myself, I am absolutely thrilled that Disney+ will be the home for this extraordinary documentary series by the legendary filmmaker Peter Jackson,” said Bob Iger, Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board, The Walt Disney Company. “This phenomenal collection of never-before-seen footage offers an unprecedented look at the close camaraderie, genius songwriting, and indelible impact of one of the most iconic and culturally influential bands of all time, and we can’t wait to share ‘The Beatles: Get Back’ with fans around the world.”
Peter Jackson commented, “In many respects, Michael Lindsay-Hogg’s remarkable footage captured multiple storylines. The story of friends and of individuals. It is the story of human frailties and of a divine partnership. It is a detailed account of the creative process, with the crafting of iconic songs under pressure, set amid the social climate of early 1969. But it’s not nostalgia – it’s raw, honest, and human. Over six hours, you’ll get to know The Beatles with an intimacy that you never thought possible.”
He added, “I’m very grateful to The Beatles, Apple Corps and Disney for allowing me to present this story in exactly the way it should be told. I’ve been immersed in this project for nearly three years, and I’m very excited that audiences around the world will finally be able to see it.”
Directed by three-time Oscar®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson (“The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, “They Shall Not Grow Old”), “The Beatles: Get Back” takes audiences back in time to the band’s intimate recording sessions during a pivotal moment in music history. The documentary showcases the warmth, camaraderie and creative genius that defined the legacy of the iconic foursome, compiled from over 60 hours of unseen footage shot in January 1969 (by Michael Lindsay-Hogg) and more than 150 hours of unheard audio, all of which has been brilliantly restored. Jackson is the only person in 50 years to have been given access to these private film archives.
“The Beatles: Get Back” is the story of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr as they plan their first live show in over two years, capturing the writing and rehearsing of 14 new songs, originally intended for release on an accompanying live album.
The documentary features – for the first time in its entirety – The Beatles’ last live performance as a group, the unforgettable rooftop concert on London’s Savile Row, as well as other songs and classic compositions featured on the band’s final two albums, «Abbey Road» and «Let It Be».
An exciting new collaboration between The Beatles and Jackson presented by The Walt Disney Studios in association with Apple Corps Ltd. and WingNut Films Productions Ltd., “The Beatles: Get Back” is directed by Peter Jackson, produced by Clare Olssen (“They Shall Not Grow Old”) and Jonathan Clyde (“Eight Days a Week”), with Ken Kamins (“The Hobbit” trilogy) and Apple Corps’ Jeff Jones (“Eight Days a Week”) serving as executive producers. Jabez Olssen (“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”) serves as the documentary’s editor, and the music is mixed by Giles Martin and Sam Okell.
“The Beatles: Get Back” is being made with the enthusiastic support of Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison.
Ahead of the documentary’s Disney+ debut, Apple Corps Ltd./Callaway Arts & Entertainment will release The Beatles: Get Back book on October 12. Beautifully designed and produced, the 240-page hardcover complements the “Get Back” documentary with transcriptions of The Beatles’ recorded conversations and hundreds of exclusive, never before published photos from the three weeks of sessions. The collectible book will be published in nine international language editions, including English.
Summing up what the news didn’t say anything about: No news about whether or not the “Get Back” mini series will be made available on physical discs, no news about “Let It Be” 50th anniversary edition album and no news about releasing the restored “Let It Be” film (apart from what Michael Lindsay-Hogg felt that Apple Corps intended to do).