Few bands have been the subject of more documentaries than The Beatles, but this latest film is somewhat different for several reasons: most notably due to its use of footage not previously seen by the public. The film, entitled The Beatles: Get Back, has already caused quite the uproar among critics.
The film’s public release date was recently announced by Disney Executive Chairman Bob Iger, set for launch in the US and Canada on September 4th. No further developments have been announced, and there is currently no news as to when or how the film will be distributed internationally.
Director Peter Jackson recently issued a statement, concerning the film and its release:
“Working on this project has been a joyous discovery. I’ve been privileged to be a fly on the wall while the greatest band of all time works, plays and creates masterpieces. I’m thrilled that Disney has stepped up as our distributor. There’s no one better to have our movie seen by the greatest number of people,” Jackson explained.
George Harrison’s son Dhani also shared his experience, after seen the film in a private screening organized by Disney. He stated:
“It’s so ridiculously amazing looking — I could see John Lennon’s fillings,” Harrison said. “I emailed Peter yesterday and said, ‘This is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen.’”
The film’s key draw lies in its use of archival footage and sound recordings. This is not entirely unique to Get Back, however, as Jackson had already used this method for the WW1 film entitled They Shall Not Grow Old. Get Back will include never-before-seen footage shot in early 1969, while the British band was recording its 12th and final studio album: Let it Be.
The original footage is said to be the film’s best feature, “looking as if it were made yesterday.” Restoring old footage is a long-time interest of Jackson, as it was a big part of his work on They Shall Not Grow Old. The footage has been restored by Park Road Post Production in Wellington, New Zealand, with editing by Jabez Olssen. In a statement, Bob Iger said the following:
“No band has had the kind of impact on the world that The Beatles have had, and The Beatles: Get Back is a front-row seat to the inner workings of these genius creators at a seminal moment in music history, with spectacularly restored footage that looks like it was shot yesterday. I’m a huge fan myself, so I could not be happier that Disney is able to share Peter Jackson’s stunning documentary with global audiences in September.”
Surviving members of The Beatles have also expressed their gratitude and appreciation of Jackson’s work. Paul McCartney is quoted as stating:
“I am really happy that Peter has delved into our archives to make a film that shows the truth about The Beatles recording together. The friendship and love between us comes over and reminds me of what a crazily beautiful time we had.”
Ringo Star also added:
“I’m really looking forward to this film. Peter is great and it was so cool looking at all this footage. There was hours and hours of us just laughing and playing music, not at all like the version that came out. There was a lot of joy and I think Peter will show that. I think this version will be a lot more peace and loving, like we really were.”