|The Beatles: Get Back|
|Based on||footage for Let It Be|
by Michael Lindsay-Hogg
|Directed by||Peter Jackson|
|Country of origin|
|Running time||120 minutes|
|Distributor||Disney Platform Distribution|
|Original release||25 November 2021|
|Infobox instructions (only shown in preview)|
The Beatles: Get Back is an upcoming three-part documentary series directed and produced by Peter Jackson. It covers the making of the Beatles' 1970 album Let It Be, which had the working title of Get Back, and draws from material originally captured for Michael Lindsay-Hogg's 1970 documentary of the album. Conceived originally as a feature film, each episode of The Beatles: Get Back is about two hours in length, making up a total of six hours.
Jackson characterized The Beatles: Get Back as "a documentary about a documentary". Commentators have described it as challenging longtime beliefs that the making of Let It Be was marked entirely by tensions between the Beatles, showing a more upbeat side of the production. It will premiere on Disney+ consecutively on 25, 26 and 27 November 2021.
Production and content
Production of The Beatles: Get Back employed film restoration techniques developed for Jackson's They Shall Not Grow Old. Over 55 hours of footage and 140 hours of audio stemming from the original Let It Be film project were made available to Jackson's team. In reference to the long-reported acrimony surrounding the original Get Back project, Jackson wrote in a press statement that he was "relieved to discover the reality is very different to the myth ... Sure, there's moments of drama – but none of the discord this project has long been associated with."
The film series was created with cooperation from Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and the widows of John Lennon (Yoko Ono) and George Harrison (Olivia Harrison), as well as music supervisor Giles Martin (a regular producer of Beatles projects since 2006). In a news release, McCartney said: "I am really happy that Peter has delved into our archives to make a film that shows the truth about the Beatles recording together", while Starr echoed: "There was hours and hours of us just laughing and playing music, not at all like the Let It Be film that came out [in 1970]. There was a lot of joy and I think Peter will show that."
The final cut covers 21 days in the studio with the Beatles as they rehearse for a forthcoming album, concert and film project, and climaxes with the full 42-minute rooftop concert. Jackson described the series as "a documentary about a documentary", as well as a "tougher" one than Let It Be, since it includes controversial events such as Harrison's brief resignation from the band, which the original film had not covered. With the exception of specific shots where no alternative exists, most of the material that had been featured in Let It Be was not reused in Get Back, and the series will primarily use footage captured from alternative camera angles in the case of sequences shared between the two works. According to Jackson, this choice was made out of a desire to "not step on Let It Be's toes so that it is still a film that has a reason to exist, and our [series] will be a supplement to it".
The project was announced on 30 January 2019, the fiftieth anniversary of the Beatles' rooftop concert. On 11 March 2020, The Walt Disney Studios announced they had acquired the worldwide distribution rights to Jackson's documentary, now titled The Beatles: Get Back. It was initially set to be released as a film by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures on 4 September 2020 in the United States and Canada, with a global release to follow. On 12 June 2020, it was pushed back to 27 August 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On 21 December 2020, a five-minute preview montage from the reproduced film, presented by Jackson, was made available on YouTube and Disney+. The video features the band members dancing, doing impersonations, laughing, Lennon reading a newspaper article about Harrison's encounter with a photographer, as well as Lennon and McCartney jokingly singing "Two of Us".
On 17 June 2021, it was announced that The Beatles: Get Back would instead be released as a three-part documentary series on Disney+ on 25, 26 and 27 November 2021, with each episode being about two hours in length. The release was preceded by the publication of a book of the same name – the first official book credited to the band since The Beatles Anthology (2000) – featuring an introduction by Hanif Kureishi. The book was initially scheduled for 31 August 2021 to coincide with the initial August release of the documentary, but was ultimately released on 12 October, ahead of the documentary. The documentary was also preceded by the release of a remixed, deluxe edition box set of the Let It Be album on 15 October.
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- The Beatles / Let It Be reissue