Last winter, Peter Jackson released an extended sneak peek at his upcoming documentary The Beatles: Get Back. At the time, the project was going to be a single film created from over 60 hours of previously unseen footage and over 150 hours of unheard audio from pivotal times in the history of The Fab Four. But since this is a Peter Jackson project, The Beatles: Get Back has ballooned into a multi-part documentary series that will span roughly six hours, and it will now be arriving on Disney+.
The Walt Disney Studios, Apple Corps Ltd. and WingNut Films Productions Ltd. sent out a press release announcing the big changes for The Beatles: Get Back release date and plans. Originally slated for theatrical release in August, the documentary will now be spread out in three episodes across November 25, 26, and 27 this year, with each episode running around two hours. This will make for great Thanksgiving holiday watching with your family, and it’s prompted some to start calling the project Lord of the Ringos.
Peter Jackson has spent three years digging into all this new footage and audio, so if he thinks six hours is the only way to show off this treasure trove of a flashback with The Beatles, then I trust him. Self-proclaimed Beatles fan Bob Iger, the Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board at The Walt Disney Company agrees. Iger said in a statement:
“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.”
See The Beatles as You Never Have Before
For Peter Jackson’s part, it sounds like he found a fascinating thread of stories that will satisfy Beatles fans, giving them an intimate look at the musicians and friends that we’ve never seen so extensively before. The filmmaker said in a statement:
“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.”
Despite being one of the biggest musical sensations in history, there haven’t been many opportunities to see The Beatles in candid settings behind the scenes. That’s just not the way media worked at the height of their fame. It sounds like this footage will provide us with a new perspective on their relationships with each other and how they created some of their most iconic songs.
For those who want to dig even more in The Beatles: Get Back, there will be a 240-page hardcover book that complements the documentary series, including transcriptions of The Beatles’ recorded conversations and hundreds of exclusive, never before published photos from the three weeks of sessions. The book arrives on October 12.
Here’s the official synopsis for The Beatles: Get Back:
“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.
This 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.
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