SALT LAKE CITY — “Lord of the Rings” producer Peter Jackson is saying “may it be” to a documentary about “Let It Be,” The Beatles’ final album.
What’s happening: Jackson announced Wednesday that he is currently working on a documentary chronicling the recording process of “Let it Be,” the last album The Beatles produced before their split in 1970, according to NPR.
- Jackson is mining 55 hours of unreleased footage of The Beatles and 140 hours of audio for the film, according to Variety.
- He plans on using restoration techniques to render Beatles footage into modern quality, similar to what was done for Jackson’s recent World War I film ”They Shall Not Grow Old.”
- The movie will be “the ultimate ‘fly on the wall’ experience that Beatles fans have long dreamt about,” Jackson said in a statement. “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 has been working with Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison for the film, according to NPR.
The “Let It Be” sessions were first edited for a film of the same name that was released in 1970, but that film has been out of circulation since the ’80s, according to Variety.
- A restored version was planned for DVD release in the early 2000s but was ultimately scrapped due to reports that it focused too much on the tension between band members during their final recordings.
- The “Let It Be” album was released following The Beatles’ split, further spurring rumors that production of the final album was heated.
The “Let It Be” footage Jackson has been working with reportedly reveals a dynamic counter to the narrative that tensions were high during the creation of “Let It Be.”1 comment on this story
- “I was relieved to discover the reality is very different to the myth,” Jackson said, according to NPR. “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.”
Jackson said he is “thrilled and honored to have been entrusted with” footage of the “Let It Be” sessions.
“Making the movie will be a sheer joy,” he said.
No release date has been set for Jackson’s film, but 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the “Let It Be” album and movie, and it’s anticipated that the documentary will be released next year.