New Beatles Film to Include Unreleased ‘Let it Be’ Footage

Today is the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ rooftop concert atop the Apple Records offices in London, and to celebrate the occasion comes the announcement of a a new Beatles documentary using the 55 hours of in-studio footage that were shot in early 1969 for the 1970 feature film “Let It Be.”

The film is set to be directed by Lord of the Rings Director Peter Jackson. The untitled film –restored by Michael Lindsay-Hogg–will come out in 2020 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the “Let It Be” album and movie, sources tell Variety.

“The 55 hours of never-before-seen footage and 140 hours of audio made available to us ensure this 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.”

The new footage will support Paul McCartney’s view that the group actually had fun in the studio recording the album. Jackson agrees.

“I was relieved to discover the reality is very different to the myth,” Jackson said. “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. … I’m thrilled and honored to have been entrusted with this remarkable footage. Making the movie will be a sheer joy.”

McCartney originally talked about the film in a 2018 Canadian interview, teasing “a new version” of “Let it Be” was in the works.

“The original movie came out and it was really sort of about the break-up of the Beatles. And so for me, it was a little sad, the movie. But I know people are looking at the … 56 hours of footage. And someone was talking the other day to me and said (that) the overall feeling is very joyous and very uplifting.,” he said. “It’s like a bunch of guys making music and enjoying it, you know.”