Peter Jackson’s reinterpretation of the film footage that became the Beatles’ swan-song film “Let It Be” has had a long road, even since it was first revealed a couple of years ago — first it was an Apple feature film for 2020, then it became a six-hour docuseries on Disney+ airing this coming Thanksgiving, and that’s on top of the 50-plus years that the footage has been sitting on shelves. (He speaks about it briefly in this preview clip released from “60 Minutes” Friday morning.)
Jackson, whose prior project was “They Shall Not Grow Old,” involving meticulously restored century-old World War I footage, has spent four years applying his expertise — and what is gradually emerging is a different take on the downcast “Let It Be,” which was effectively a chronicle of the Beatles’ divorce.
While the first extensive footage that was released showed a powerfully cheerful counter-narrative to the original film — the Beatles clowning around, laughing, hugging each other — the subsequent releases have been a bit more barbed, and we see it in the clip of the group rehearsing “I’ve Got a Feeling” Friday morning.
— Disney+ (@disneyplus) November 12, 2021
In it, Paul McCartney is in full captain-of-the-ship mode, giving his bandmates very specific instructions on how he wants the song to go; true to form, John Lennon is clowning around and George Harrison is beginning to bristle at being bossed around — in fact, according to legend, it was the rehearsals for this song (and possibly this rehearsal?) that led him to storm out of the sessions and leave the group for a few days, something Ringo Starr had done during the “White Album” sessions the year before. In fact, a January 1969 page Harrison’s diary has been reproduced in the recently released “Let It Be” boxed set as well as the one from his own “All Things Must Pass”: a very deadpan “January 9: Left the Beatles.”
Much more, of course, will be revealed when the full six-hour docuseries airs over Thanksgiving weekend — we all know how it ends, but we also had no idea there was so much still to see.