“Fans Will Lose Their Minds”
Last week, Universal Music hosted a showcase treating guests to an exclusive look at the new Beatles documentary from They Shall Not Grow Old director Peter Jackson, utilising footage shot while the Fab Four were working on the Let It Be album.
Following the critical success of They Shall Not Grow Old, Jackson was hired to use a similar filming technique and given carte blanche to turn 55 hours of unreleased 1969 footage of The Beatles into a new Let It Be documentary.
Variety reports that audience members were asked not to film or photograph the preview, which ran for several minutes. Apple Records chief Jeff Jones, who introduced the clip, noted –
“We have created a brand-new film that will attempt to bust the myth that the Let It Be sessions were the final nail in the Beatles’ coffin.”
According to the report, the new footage is “brighter both visually and spiritually” than Michael Lindsay-Hogg’s original 1970 Let It Be documentary (which included the famous live concert from the studio rooftop on Savile Row) and the new footage features –
“many shots of the Beatles joking around, making fun of each other, singing in silly accents and generally indulging in vintage Moptop hijinks.”
“It also features many scenes of the group rehearsing songs from the Abbey Road album — their true swan song, which would be recorded over the following summer — and even rough versions of songs that would appear on solo records.
“On the basis of this clip, Beatles fans will lose their minds over this film.”
Talking about the project, 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 … 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.”
“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 … I’m thrilled and honoured to have been entrusted with this remarkable footage. Making the movie will be a sheer joy.”
Jackson is partnering with The Beatles’ record company Apple and has the approval of Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono Lennon, and Olivia Harrison.
This May will mark the 50th anniversary of the Let It Be album’s release, although it’s not clear when the as-yet-untitled new film will premiere.