Crushing news for Beatles fans: Peter Jackson’s documentary “The Beatles: Get Back,” which was initially set for Sept. 4 of this year will now go close to a year later on Aug. 27, 2021. The move was announced by Disney, the film’s distributor, on Friday (June 12).
The film creates a cheerful counter-narrative to the Beatles’ 1970 swan song “Let It Be” film, which essentially documented the group’s breakup and is a rather downbeat experience. The new film, segments of which Variety viewed earlier this year, feels completely different, with the four members laughing and clowning around in classic moptop fashion. Unlike virtually every other item in the group’s oeuvre, has been out of circulation for many years — as if the surviving bandmembers didn’t want to deal with it — although the group has promised a restored version will be released sometime in the future.
The top-secret trailer of “Get Back” screened by Variety earlier this year reveals practically a different world: It’s brighter both visually and spiritually, with many, many shots of the Beatles joking around, making fun of each other, singing in silly accents and generally indulging in vintage Moptop hijinks. It also includes additional footage from the group’s legendary 42-minute “rooftop performance” that caps the “Let It Be” film, which was their last live performance.
Paul McCartney said in a statement last year, “I am really happy that Peter has delved into our archives to make a film that shows the truth about The Beatles recording together. The friendship and love between us comes over and reminds me of what a crazily beautiful time we had.”
Ringo Starr added, “I’m really looking forward to this film. Peter is great and it was so cool looking at all this footage. There was hours and hours of us just laughing and playing music, not at all like the version that came out. There was a lot of joy and I think Peter will show that. I think this version will be a lot more peace and loving, like we really were.”
Peter Jackson said, “Working on this project has been a joyous discovery. I’ve been privileged to be a fly on the wall while the greatest band of all time works, plays and creates masterpieces. I’m thrilled that Disney have stepped up as our distributor. There’s no one better to have our movie seen by the greatest number of people.”