Peter Jackson to make new Beatles film

The Lord Of The Rings director is putting the movie together using hours of unreleased footage

Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson is to put together a new film about The Beatles using unreleased footage from the studio sessions that spawned their final album Let It Be.

Jackson, who put together the Lord Of The Rings trilogy of movies between 2001 and 2003, will compile a film from the 55 hours of never-before-seen-footage of the Fab Four shot between January 2 and 31, 1969. The sessions, initially going under the name Get Back, resulted in the Let It Be album and movie. Although the group recorded and released another album in 1969 (Abbey Road), the recordings served as the band’s swansong, as it wasn’t made available until after they split in 1970.

Michael Lindsay-Hogg’s filming famously climaxed with The Beatles’ legendary performance on the roof of their label Apple’s London headquarters in Savile Row, their first live performance in three years together, and their last-ever.

Jackson said: “The 55 hours of never-before-seen footage and 140 hours of audio made available to us ensures this movie will be the ultimate ‘fly on the wall’ experience that Beatles fans have long dreamt about – 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.”

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The Let It Be album and movie are generally viewed as a document of the band breaking up. However, Jackson says the footage shines a different light on that period.

He said: “I was relieved to discover the reality is very different to the myth. 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 [Lennon], Paul [McCartney], George [Harrison], and Ringo [Starr] work together, creating now-classic songs from scratch, is not only fascinating – it’s funny, uplifting and surprisingly intimate.

“I’m thrilled and honoured to have been entrusted with this remarkable footage – making the movie will be a sheer joy.”

A date has yet to be announced for the release of the new film – but a restored version of the original Let It Be movie directed by Lindsay-Hogg will also be made available around the same time, having been unavailable since the Eighties.