The Walt Disney Studios June 17 announced that Disney+ will bring “The Beatles: Get Back,” a Disney+ Original documentary series directed by Lord of the Rings helmer and three-time Oscar winner Peter Jackson, exclusively to the platform over the Thanksgiving weekend.
The Jackson doc, which the director has spent the past three years restoring and editing, will be presented as three separate episodes over three days, Nov. 25, 26 and 27. It was made made with the support of surviving band members Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, in addition to John Lennon and George Harrison’s widows Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison.
“The Beatles: Get Back” takes audiences back in time to the band’s early recording sessions during a pivotal moment in music history. The documentary showcases the camaraderie and creative genius that defined the legacy of the iconic foursome, compiled from over 60 hours of unseen footage shot in January 1969 (by Michael Lindsay-Hogg) and more than 150 hours of unheard audio, all of which has been restored.
Jackson is the only person in 50 years to have been given access to these private film archives. “The Beatles: Get Back” is the story of Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Starr as they plan their first live show in over two years, capturing the writing and rehearsing of 14 new songs, originally intended for release on an accompanying live album. The documentary features — for the first time in its entirety — The Beatles’ last live performance as a group, the rooftop concert on London’s Savile Row, as well as other songs and classic compositions featured on the band’s final two albums, Abbey Road and Let It Be.
Bob Iger, executive chairman of The Walt Disney Company, and longtime Beatles fan, helped secure the distribution deal.
“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,” Iger said in a statement.
“In many respects, Michael Lindsay-Hogg’s remarkable footage captured multiple storylines,” Jackson said. “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.”
The director cautioned that the doc is “not nostalgia,” but rather a six-hour “raw, honest, and human” exposé on the The Beatles.
“You’ll get to know [them] with an intimacy that you never thought possible,” Jackson said.
Ahead of the documentary’s Disney+ debut, Apple Corps Ltd./Callaway Arts & Entertainment will release The Beatles: Get Back book on Oct. 12. The 240-page hardcover complements the “Get Back” documentary with transcriptions of The Beatles’ recorded conversations and hundreds of exclusive, never before published photos from the three weeks of sessions. The collectible book will be published in nine international language editions, including English.