Filmmaker Peter Jackson is set to helm a new Beatles documentary using unseen footage of the legendary band recording their album Let It Be.
The new documentary will pull from the 55 hours of footage that was shot of the Beatles working together in the studio for the original, 1970 Let It Be feature film by director Michael Lindsay-Hogg, that was released in conjunction with the album.
Jackson is making the new film with the full cooperation of Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono — in place of the late John Lennon — and Olivia Harrison — in place of the late George Harrison.
“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 that Beatles fans have long dreamed about – 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,” Jackson said in a statement.
The original film, famous for featuring tension within the Beatles, has been out of circulation and was only released on VHS and laser disc. Beatles company Apple has announced that it will release a restored version of the original film following the release of Jackson’s project.
“I was relieved to discover the reality is very different to the myth,” Jackson said about the original Let It Be feature. “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. Sure, there’s moments of drama – but none of the discord this project has long been associated with.”
Jackson’s new film was announced on Wednesday on the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ iconic rooftop performance in London. The band, on Jan. 30, 1969, staged an impromptu concert on the roof of Apple Records. This was the last public appearance made by The Beatles.