Disney owns so many companies now that we're constantly finding new titles popping up on its slate that we would have sworn were other studios' releases. The latest emerged via a release date announcement at Disney's annual shareholders' meeting today: Peter Jackson's Beatles documentary The Beatles: Get Back.
Releasing this September, Get Back is an intriguing project that will form a sort of companion piece to the 1970 film Let It Be, edited from the same 55-hour trove of studio footage shot for that film. According to Disney executive chairman Bob Iger (as reported by Variety), the film, restored using the same process employed on They Shall Not Grow Old, "looks like it was shot yesterday."
As for the content of the film, it's intended to present an alternative look at the recording sessions of the Beatles' final album,* suggesting that the sessions weren't as fractious as the original doc suggested. Jackson says it's a "fly on the wall" experience, Paul McCartney says it illustrates "the friendship and love between [the Beatles]," and Ringo Starr says it comes from "hours and hours of us just laughing and playing music, not at all like the version that came out." Certainly intriguing stuff, and though the involvement of the Beatles (and Disney) suggests potential sanitisation of the narrative, it's worth noting that the original Let It Be doc will be similarly remastered and released soon after it.
Jackson's newfound interest in archival documentary is kind of heartwarming after seeing the director lose perspective and sanity making Warner Brothers money and rewriting New Zealand labour laws on The Hobbit. What's next? Will he restore the Zapruder film and solve the JFK shooting mystery once and for all? Will he take on the Patterson-Gimlin film and find Bigfoot? And once he's done with all that: how are those remasters of Bad Taste, Meet the Feebles, and Braindead coming along, Peter? Huh? When are we gonna see those?
The Beatles: Get Back releases in the United States and Canada on September 4th.
* A note for anyone who needs check on their ego: the entire Beatles discography was recorded before any of the band members were 30 years of age. Have a nice day.