Academy Award winning director Sir Peter Jackson will collaborate with the Beatles company Apple Corps Ltd. to produce a new film based on unseen footage shot during the Let It Be sessions in 1969 at the Twickenham in London and at The Beatles' basement studio at the headquarters for their label, Apple Records, with guest Billy Preston.
"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 dreamt about,” Jackson told Beatles.com. “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.”
The original Let It Be film directed by longtime Beatles video director Michael Lindsay-Hogg will also be made available for the first time in decades. The Let It Be sessions have been a source of controversy both for The Beatles and their fans for decades. The soundtrack, produced and remixed by Phil Spector in 1970 and the Lindsay-Hogg’s film showed The Beatles splintering amidst business pressures and personal problems before finally coming together for one last performance on the rooftop of the record label. But Jackson says the unheard audio and unseen footage also shows a band committed to making great music together.
“I was relieved to discover the reality is very different to the myth,” continues Jackson, “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”.
Look for both films in theaters and on streaming services later this year to mark the 50th anniversary of the sessions. In the meantime, don’t miss our feature on The Beatles rooftop performance as well as our look at the history of the band’s favorite electric guitar, the Epiphone Casino.