Apple Records Showcases Footage From Peter Jackson’s New Beatles Movie

Words by Riley Fitzgerald (@Riley.NF)
Graphic by Press

Apple Records has previewed several minutes of footage from the upcoming remake of 1970 Beatles film Let It Be.

The documentary, originally directed by Michael Lindsay Hogg, famously depicts a fractious Beatles, led by Paul McCartney, attempting to return to their roots and quell internal tensions.

It also showcases their final public performance on the rooftop of Apple Headquarters on January 30, 1969.

Initially, the sessions, undertaken in a cold and uncomfortable Twickenham Film Studios rather than their usual choice of the Abbey Road or Apple studios, were intended to provide material for an album titled Get Back.

The record would showcase the Fab Four returning to their rock ‘n’ roll roots.

Unsatisfied with the material the Beatles ultimately directed the project was to be scrapped, though it was later be reworked by producer Phil Spector with little input from the Beatles themselves to become the group’s final 1970 album Let It Be.

A Variety reporter, present at the showcasing of the footage at Universal Music, reports that Apple Record’s Jeff Jones explained the logic behind the remake.

We have created a brand new film that will attempt to bust the myth that the Let It Be sessions were the final nail in the Beatles’ coffin,” Jones is reported to have shared.

Retitled Get Back the documentary will provide a counter-narrative to the widely held perception that the original film is somewhat depressing in its look at the Beatles in their decline.

(Notable scenes from the original included George Harrison quitting the band and John Lennon taking verbal swipes at Paul McCartney who initially conceived of the project as a way to prevent the band from falling apart. John is in turn on the receiving end of much criticism for bringing new partner Yoko Ono to the sessions.)

Looking to change the tone of the film Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson has been tasked with digitally cleaning and re-editing some 55 hours of video original footage originally captured and retell the story from a different angle.

Variety contends that new version of the documentary presents the sessions in a brighter and more uplifting tone, emphasizing moments where the Beatles are seen joking and having fun.

Get Back will also incorporate footage captured the following summer when the Fab Four began recording Abbey Road, a project all four were much more enthusiastic about.

When the film was announced early last year Peter Jackson promised it would be the “ultimate ‘fly on the wall’ experience” and an “amazing historical treasure trove”, with moments of drama but little of the discord long associated with the original film.

With Paul McCartney himself expressing some mild reservations about the project, this may ultimately be something left for the fans to decide.

Get Back is expected to premiere this October.


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