“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).

Source: Vanity Fair and TheBeatles.com

29 Responses

  1. Ian says:

    So – for most of the world – that neither has nor wants Disney+ when do we get it? And how? Apple have made some daft decisions over the years – this takes the cake.

  2. JOSE RENATO says:

    And the box (CD´s + Bluray) ?

  3. rick says:

    For two freaking years we’ve been told that the re-edited version would be in the theaters so we could see it up on the big screen. But now with about 2 months to go we’re told that if we want to see it we’ll have to see it on a small screen. What a real slap in the face to all of us Beatle fans

    • jackson says:

      always about the money? disney + is 7.99 a mobth you can pay one time and get SIX HOURS !!!!! what is wrong with everyone?

      • G.D. Wilde says:

        wrong? Disney tries to hook you into their streaming service when you want purchase a single product. They may offer other options down the line, but they have failed to make this clear at this stage. That’s what’s wrong.

      • Martin says:

        But what’s the problem, a couple of days later you’ll be able to download for free in any torrent site. Nothing of my money for d*sney.

        • G.D. Wilde says:

          Is there no problem if the solution is illegal?

          • Martin says:

            That’s it. And what is “illegal” anyway? A human invention: “I decide that you can’t do this”, “I decide that women can’t show their hair or face in public”… and so on.

  4. Andy says:

    Disney+ costs $12 a month. I’ll happily pay that to see this footage. At least we are here and have the opportunity to see it.

  5. Brian says:

    I couldn’t care less where we see it. We’re getting 6 hours of footage!

  6. Olav Markstedt says:

    We, the old generation of Beatles fans, may never se it. I would have loved too, but dont think i will make it.
    I was 70 yesterday. Congrats to Paul ( It’s my birthday to yeah)

  7. I suspect they will drip feed info of other releases to us over the next 4/5 months to keep the hype going. I’d be very surprised if there wasn’t a DVD/Bluray early in 2022 (After a certain amount Disney+ exclusive time). I’m sure there will be a stupidly expensive box set with everything in it Books, CD’s DVD’s Blu ray’s, Vinyl (and for all we know including a stick on Mccartney style beard and a grown your own Michael Lindsay Hogg kit If the ATMP big box set is anything to go by).

  8. Blakey says:

    The Anthology (in edited form) was wisely put on ITV in 1995, so all fans could see it. But now The Beatles – the people’s band – are now a Pay Per View event and fans can either like it or lump it. How times change.

    Of course fans will buy the DVDs, just like they did with the Anthology or 1+. But there’ll be a long wait for that. And for those who don’t have Disney+, its just tough. Because Disney and Apple don”t care. Not every Beatles fan in this world is made of money or can afford TV subscriptions on top of the (BBC) TV lIcence. It’s a cast iron certainty that Disney+ will hang this out, repeat many times, and delay any sort of DVD release. The Mandalorian hasn’t even been released on DVD or Blu-Ray yet, and that was on two years ago. So I reckon Disney will milk the Beatles PayPer View cash cow for as long as they can. In other words, Fabs fans with limited budgets are screwed.

    Whatever happened to ‘A splendid time is guaranteed for all’?

    • Juan says:

      First month is free on Disney+. If you don’t have it now, you’ve got more than 5 months as of today to figure out a way to record it and watch anytime you want.

    • Shad Radna says:

      A cinema release is pay per view. Assuming you only need a subscription to see this, watching it on Disney+ isn’t technically pay per view; it’s pay to view for a period of time. It’s more like renting a DVD (which, of course, is what Netflix was when it started).

      • Will says:

        100% agree with Shad. You had to pay to see A Hard Day’s Night, Help, Yellow Submarine, Let It Be or 8 Days A Week at the cinema. Anthology was always made as a TV series and at the time, free to air was the only option.
        This new film was originally going to be a cinema release, which would have cost money to go and see and would presumably have lasted 2 hours at most. Now it’s a 6 hour stream, which, worse case, they might deem PPV and charge more than the standard monthly £7.99 – Mulan cost something like £20 but is now part of Disney+ at no extra cost. But Mulan has a far wider appeal than 6 hours of a band from 50 years ago.
        So for probably £8 (which is less than the cost of my local cinema), you will get 6 hours of Beatles footage that you can watch as many times as you like for a month.
        If £8 is a problem, you were never going to see it anyway. What is the problem here?

        • kozmo says:

          The problem is that not everyone has streaming capacity on their TV or their internet access. I certainly don’t.

          • Will says:

            If you need a streaming device, get a Roku or Amazon fire stick. They cost around £25, which is far cheaper than a DVD or blu ray player, and only £5 more than 8 Days A Week cost on blu ray when it came out . And you can stream with 3G bandwidth, let alone wifi.

  9. dodl says:

    Everything is going to streaming these days. The only thing on the up-tick is vinyl (!!! YAY!!!). CD’s are a thing of the past, for the most part. DVD’s are a thing of the past, for the most part. Movie theaters are becoming a rarity, partly due to Covid, but partly because people are watching their movies on their phone on the bus on the way to work.

    I really dislike streaming. I want to hold the CD/movie in my hand. I want to get something for my $30 besides a memory. I don’t boycott Disney… I just don’t watch their kid movies, their overblown teen movies, and their boring other movies. (I DID like Mandalorian!)

    I’m fine with getting 4.5 extra hours on Disney+! Then, I’ll buy it on BluRay, right after the Let It Be/Get Back CD Deluxe Boxset just before the McCartney Archive editions of Back To The Egg & London Town… and then…???

  10. Shad Radna says:

    I suspect you’ll be able to buy all six hours on UHD, Blu Ray, and DVD. Despite all the huff that accompanies every Beatles (re-)release, the market is getting older and smaller. As the comments here demonstrate, a significant proportion of that market doesn’t want this to be on Disney+, presumably because they don’t want the hassle and humiliation of having to ask their grandchildren how to connect a scart lead to the router. Much of this market has money and buys physical media. Shifting physical units is where the money is now. That’s why all these boxsets (a) exist, and (b) are getting more and more expensive. It’s why Capitol wanted McCartney back and why they’ve marketed his stuff so remorselessly since.

    This market largely doesn’t want to go to the cinema anymore either. Eight Days A Week cost $5m and took $12.3m at the box office – and that’s worldwide. US Blu Ray and DVD sales amounted to more than twice the US theatrical box office. (Peter Jackson’s sort-of-similar project They Shall Not Grow Old took around $18m at the US box office but only $1.8m in physical sales.)

    Much of the market doesn’t have an internet connection capable of downloading a 4K movie in a reasonable time, let alone streaming it. Yet it’s clear from what we’ve seen that Jackson’s team has been feeding the 16mm footage (even the original project was only intended to be watched on TV) through AI processes to gain (i.e. intuit) more detail.

    This is unlikely to be a cash cow for Disney+; it’s just a way to squeeze some extra money out before – I’m sure – the physical releases.

    • admin says:

      Disney stopped doing physical discs last year, according to this.

      • Blakey says:

        Thanks for the info, Roger. But I hope Apple put their foot down and release Peter Jackson’s film on DVD and Blu-Ray. Apple surely know that ‘Get Back’ will be a massive seller and that fans will love a physical release.I don’t see why Apple Corps didn’t use Universal (who distribute Apple and EMI anyway) to release Jackson’s film(s). Disney’s reputation isn’t exactly good, and the rights to Jackson’s Beatles work could end up messy in years to come.

      • dodl says:

        I can very well be wrong, but I’m sure Apple still owns Get Back./Let It Be and has only licensed the series to Disney+. Disney pays X amount of dollars for exclusive rights for X amount of time. Just like they licensed The Anthology to ABC-tv for the rights to air it way back when. Lord knows, I could be wrong however.

  11. kozmo says:

    Well, I’m not a fan of Disney and I don’t stream video, so all I can say is that if this isn’t released commercially to DVD I’ll be giving money to the inevitable bootleg providers. Too bad, I was looking forward to the theatrical release and home video.

  12. algar says:

    I still hope to see some version of this in the theaters, which is a very different experience from streaming a show at home.

  13. mimbo says:

    Disney sucks! No support from my side. Then I have to let ‘Let it be’ be…

  14. Burning Water says:

    according to a source of mine in the Universal world, there won’t be any physical product, not even for X-Mas, Disney put there foot down and want this to be “streaming only”.

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