'Get Back': Peter Jackson's The Beatles documentary is now a three-part, six hour Disney+ series

·Senior Editor
·4-min read
The Beatles in <i>THE BEATLES: GET BACK</i>. (Linda McCartney)
The Beatles in THE BEATLES: GET BACK. (Linda McCartney)

Peter Jackson has gone full Hobbit again: His upcoming The Beatles documentary Get Back has been retooled into a three-part, six-hour series which will launch on Disney+ in November, 2021.

The series will roll out on Disney+ over three days on 25, 26 and 27 November 2021 and will feature over six hours of never-before-seen restored footage, including The Beatles’ last live performance, as per a new press release.

Originally slated to be a feature film, The Beatles: Get Back has been pieced together by Jackson over a period of three years from 56 hours of footage captured in 1969 during the recording of the band’s penultimate album Let It Be. 

Read more: Raucous first look at Get Back

The footage was originally shot and edited into Michael Lindsay-Hogg's 1970 film Let It Be. It was due for release in 2020 as part of the album and film's 50th anniversary, but was delayed to 2021 by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Peter Jackson, director of THE BEATLES: GET BACK. (©Apple Corps Ltd. All Rights Reserved.)
Peter Jackson, director of THE BEATLES: GET BACK. (©Apple Corps Ltd. All Rights Reserved.)

Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson, who has directed the series, says it will show the Fab Four like you've never seen them before.

“In many respects, Michael Lindsay-Hogg’s remarkable footage captured multiple storylines," Jackson, who famously spun an eight-hour movie trilogy out of the 300-page Hobbit novel, said in a statement. 

"The story of friends and of individuals. It is the story of human frailties and of a divine partnership. It is a detailed account of the creative process, with the crafting of iconic songs under pressure, set amid the social climate of early 1969. But it’s not nostalgia — it’s raw, honest, and human. 

LONDON - January 30:  (L-R) American photographer Linda McCartney (1941-1998) sitting beside English musician, singer and drummer Ringo Starr, English singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Paul McCartney, English musician, singer-songwriter and guitarist George Harrison (1943-2001), and English singer, songwriter and guitarist John Lennon (1940-1980) of the Beatles as they play their final live performance on the roof of 3 Savile Row, Apple Corps headquarters, January 30, 1969 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Jeff Hochberg/Getty Images)
The Beatles as they play their final live performance on the roof of 3 Savile Row, Apple Corps headquarters, January 30, 1969 (Jeff Hochberg/Getty Images)

"Over six hours, you’ll get to know The Beatles with an intimacy that you never thought possible.”

He added, “I’m very grateful to The Beatles, Apple Corps and Disney for allowing me to present this story in exactly the way it should be told. I’ve been immersed in this project for nearly three years, and I’m very excited that audiences around the world will finally be able to see it.”

Read more: Eight movies that nearly starred The Beatles

The Beatles: Get Back is being made with the support of Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison.

As previously reported, the new doc promises to bust the myth that the Let It Be sessions were fraught with tension between band members John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.

A poster for the Apple Corps movie 'Let It Be', featuring The Beatles, 1970.  (Photo by Movie Poster Image Art/Getty Images)
A poster for the Apple Corps movie 'Let It Be', featuring The Beatles, 1970. (Photo by Movie Poster Image Art/Getty Images)

The 1970 film not been officially available on home video since the 1980s. Footage from the film appeared in the extensive 1995 documentary series The Beatles Anthology, but a planned DVD release was canned in 2007. “The film was so controversial when it first came out. When we got halfway through restoring it, we looked at the outtakes and realised: this stuff is still controversial. It raised a lot of old issues,” said Beatles exec Neil Aspinall at the time.

Bob Iger, Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board, The Walt Disney Company, called Jackson's documentary 'extraordinary'.

Read more: Paul McCartney's failed attempt to make a Rupert The Bear movie

"As a huge Beatles fan myself, I am absolutely thrilled that Disney+ will be the home for this extraordinary documentary series by the legendary filmmaker Peter Jackson," Iger said in a statement. 

"This phenomenal collection of never-before-seen footage offers an unprecedented look at the close camaraderie, genius songwriting, and indelible impact of one of the most iconic and culturally influential bands of all time, and we can’t wait to share The Beatles: Get Back with fans around the world.”

Watch: Peter Jackson shares Get Back tease

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