Peter Jackson Says Music Isnt at the Forefront of Six-Hour Beatles Doc: More Talking Than Singing

Peter Jackson shocked fans last month when news broke that his upcoming Beatles documentary “Get Back” was being expanded from a movie into a three part, six hour television series to stream on Disney+. The “Lord of the Rings” Oscar winner restored 60 hours of never-before-scene Beatles footage for the movie and just couldn’t whittle it all down into a movie-friendly runtime. In a recent interview with GQ magazine, Jackson teased what music fans can expect in his six hours of footage.

“I think people will be surprised by the series for two reasons,” Jackson said. “One, it’ll be far more intimate than they imagined it to be, because everyone is used to seeing music documentaries being a bit kind of MTV-ish, sort of together in a poppy kind of way and it’s just the music, music, music, you know? The music isn’t at the forefront of this film: weirdly, it’s what goes on behind the music at the forefront.”

Jackson’s “Get Back” will include the entirety of The Beatles’ final show, that iconic unannounced 1969 rooftop concert above their Apple Corps headquarters in London, but even that sequence won’t just be the music. As the director said, “Even in the rooftop concert, we have the concept that we’re inter-cutting all the time to the street and to the policeman and everything else.”

“And that’s really true of the whole series — it’s not a sequence of MTV video clips of them doing songs,” Jackson continued. “There’s probably more conversations with The Beatles in the films than there is actual singing.”

What else can Beatles fans expect? “The other thing that I think will surprise people is how funny the films are,” Jackson said. “Considering the reputation of this footage and the ‘Let It Be’ movie, you don’t associate with January 1969, but they’re very funny films.”

The official “The Beatles: Get Back” synopsis from Disney reads: “The documentary is the story of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr as they plan their first live show in over two years, capturing the writing and rehearsing of 14 new songs, originally intended for release on an accompanying live album. The documentary features — for the first time in its entirety — The Beatles’ last live performance as a group, the unforgettable rooftop concert on London’s Savile Row, as well as other songs and classic compositions featured on the band’s final two albums, Abbey Road’ and Let It Be.’”

“The Beatles: Get Back” will release over three days, November 25-27, only on Disney+.

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