Ever since wrapping up “The Hobbit” trilogy in 2014, director Peter Jackson has turned his attention towards ambitious restoration documentaries. The filmmaker released his colorized World War I documentary “They Shall Not Grow Old” in 2018 to considerable acclaim, and now Jackson is back at work editing his next non-fiction piece “The Beatles: Get Back.” The music documentary is chock full of newly restored footage of The Beatles that’s never before been seen by the public.
“This film was due to be finished around about now, but like the rest of the world, has been affected by the COVID pandemic,” Jackson said from his editing room in a new first look video at the project. “And so the only good thing really is that we are in the movie in New Zealand and now that our country has largely stamped out the virus, we were ale to come back into the cutting room and carry on with the editing that we’re doing.”
“And it’s really great stuff,” Jackson continued about the film, which pulls from 56 hours of never-before-seen Beatles footage the director had access to use as needed. “I would say we’re about halfway through the edit now, but because you’ve been so patient and the film has been delayed until 2021, we thought it was a good time to give you a little sneaky preview of what we’ve been working on and the sort of vibe and the energy that the film is going to have.”
Disney touts the Jackson documentary’s new content as “notable footage of the band at work in the studio, capturing John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr as they create their now-classic songs from scratch, laughing, bantering, and playing to the camera.” The documentary also includes rare footage from the band’s final live rooftop performance in 1969.
Per Jackson’s introduction, the below footage is not a official trailer for the upcoming documentary (“those will be coming out next year”), rather “it’s like a montage of moments that we pulled from throughout the 56 hours of footage that we have. And it just gives you a sense of the spirit of the film that we’re making. Hopefully it’ll put a smile on your face in these rather bleak times that we’re in.”
“The Beatles: Get Back” arrives in theaters next year. Watch the first footage in the video below.