New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
Peter Jackson is teaming up with Apple Corps Ltd. and WingNut Films Ltd. and The Beatles
for a feature documentary, according to Deadline.
The Lord of the Rings The Hobbit helmer will direct a movie that is based on 55 hours of never-released footage of The Beatles
in the studio. Shot between January 2 and January 31, 1969, the studio sessions produced The Beatles' Grammy Award winning album Let It Be, with its Academy Award winning title song. The result was the swan song of the super group: the album was released 18 months later in May 1970, several months after the band had broken up.
The footage was initially intended for a TV special, but it turned into something different, featuring The Beatles' performance on the roof of Apple's Savile Row London office, which took place 50 years ago today.
The new documentary is being made with the full co-operation of Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono Lennon for the late John Lennon, and Olivia
Harrison for the late George
There is no release date yet for documentary, which will be executive produced by Ken Kamins for WingNut Films and Jeff Jones and Jonathan Clyde for Apple Corps. Apple Corps and Kamins will broker distribution rights on the film.
"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 footage for the documentary will be RESTORED by Park Road Post of Wellington, New Zealand, to a pristine standard, using techniques developed for Jackson's WW1 documentary They Shall Not Grow Old. Those techniques transformed dusty footage into something both relatable and modern.
Although The Beatles
were filmed extensively during the 1960s - in concerts, interviews and movies - This footage is the only of any note that documents them at work in the studio working on the Let It Be album. The album and subsequent movie were released in the months following The Beatles' breakup, so they have often been viewed in the context of the struggle the band was going through at that time.
"I was relieved to discover the reality is very different to the myth," Jackson said. "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. Watching John, Paul, George, and Ringo work together, creating now-classic songs from scratch, is not only fascinating - it's funny, uplifting and surprisingly intimate. I'm thrilled and honored to have been entrusted with this remarkable footage - making the movie will be a sheer joy."