“Because it was so close to the Beatles’ breakup, my impression of the film was of a sad moment,” McCartney admitted during a conversation with Billboard. Now, with director Peter Jackson turning 58 hours of archival footage into a new Let It Be documentary, the perspective seems to be shifting. “The director tells me that the overall impression is of friends working together,” McCartney noted.
This isn’t the first time fans have heard about the latest Let It Be project. The documentary was announced in January, with Jackson boasting that the finished product will be “the ultimate ‘fly on the wall’ experience.” “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 filmmaker declared.
Though it was recorded before Abbey Road, Let It Be was the Beatles’ final release, coming out shortly after the band’s breakup in 1970. Footage of the group creating the LP was originally shot for a television documentary, and was conceptualized to accompany a concert broadcast. The project evolved into a feature film, which briefly screened in theaters before disappearing from circulation and becoming a rare VHS collectible. Jackson is assembling his new piece from the raw material of that original project.
“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,” the Academy Award-winning director remarked, adding that the viewing experience will be “funny, uplifting and surprisingly intimate.”
No release has been set for the documentary, with McCartney only promising that “something’s going to come out from that footage.” Reports earlier this year suggested that Jackson’s film would be followed by a restored edition of the original Let It Be movie, but McCartney made no reference to this in the new interview.