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Peter Jackson to direct new Beatles film based on hours of unseen footage | Ents & Arts News

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A new film about The Beatles has been announced, featuring hours of previously unseen footage giving the “ultimate fly-on-the-wall experience”.

Directed by Lord Of The Rings’ Peter Jackson, it will be based around 55 hours of film shot in the studio in January 1969 – sessions which produced the Grammy award-winning Let It Be.

The album was eventually released in May 1970, several months after the Fab Four split.

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Peter Jackson is to direct a new film about the Beatles featuring unseen footage from 1969. Pic: Travis Graalman
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Peter Jackson says it will be a ‘sheer joy’ to make the film. Pic: Travis Graalman

Jackson said watching the clips was like being in a “time machine” and that making the as-yet-untitled film would be a “sheer joy”.

“The 55 hours of never-before-seen footage and 140 hours of audio made available to us ensures this movie will be the ultimate fly-on-the-wall experience that Beatles fans have long dreamt about,” he said.

“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.”

Paul McCartney shared the news with fans, retweeting a post from the official Beatles Twitter account.

Although The Beatles were filmed extensively during the 1960s, the filmmakers say this is the only footage of any note that documents them at work in the studio.

It climaxes with the band’s legendary final live show on the roof of Apple’s Savile Row London office – which took place 50 years ago on Wednesday.

Jackson says the clips showed him a different side to the story of Let It Be, which is often viewed in the context of the band’s break-up.

“I was relieved to discover the reality is very different to the myth,” he said. “After reviewing all the footage and audio… 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.”

Apple Corps and WingNut Films, who are making the film, say McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison are supporting the project.

Jackson will be working with producer Clare Olssen and editor Jabez Olssen, who worked with him on the First World War documentary film They Shall Not Grow Old. The footage will be restored using techniques developed for the project.

The Beatles film is currently in production, with no details on a release date given as yet.

Following its release, a restored version of the original Let It Be film directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg will also be made available.

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