Peter Jackson’s (The Lovely Bones) documentary film The Beatles: Get Back is no more, as it is now transitioning to become a limited series at Disney+. Originally slated to be a film and debut this August in theaters, Disney+ announced there was simply too much footage, so it will now span six hours over three episodes, available only on the streamer, as reported by Indiewire.
The three installments will debut on Disney+ between November 25-27 with each episode being two hours in length. The documentary includes various never-before- seen clips of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr working in the studio, including rare footage from their now famous live performance on a rooftop in 1969. As reported by Indiewire, Disney+ explained the reasoning for turning Get Back into a television series: “because of the wealth of tremendous footage Jackson has reviewed, which he has spent the past three years restoring and editing, ‘The Beatles: Get Back’ will be presented as three separate episodes…(Jackson) 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 brilliantly restored, Jackson is the only person in 50 years to have been given access to these private film archives.”
The official synopsis for The Beatles: Get Back was picked up by Indiewire: “The documentary is the story of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo 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 unforgettable 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’.”
The Beatles: Get Back has been a passion project of Jackson’s for quite some time. An Academy-Award winner, he is best known for directing The Lord of The Rings film trilogy, and winning Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Director and Best Picture in 2003 for the third film, The Return of the King. He’s also directed several other massive action films, including the 2005 remake of King Kong and The Hobbit trilogy. With Get Back, the director is doing a complete 180 and paying homage to one of the most influential bands of all time.
Jackson himself released a statement on his now television series getting a new home at Disney+, via Indiewire : “In many respects, Michael Lindsay-Hogg’s remarkable footage captured multiple storylines. 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. Over six hours, you’ll get to know The Beatles with an intimacy that you never thought possible.”
Bob Iger, Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board at The Walt Disney Company, released a statement picked up by Indiewire about The Beatles: Get Back coming to Disney+: “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…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.”