Let It Be has one of the most well-chronicled production and recording processes of any album in existence. Released in 1970, the album was the final Beatles record (though it was recorded before 1969’s Abbey Road) and came at a time when tensions within the group were at an all-time high, with the involvement of super producer (and future murderer) Phil Spector not exactly helping matters. But now, to commemorate the upcoming 50th anniversary of its release, it’s been announced that Peter Jackson will be directing a new documentary about it.
Of course, this won’t be the first documentary about Let It Be. The making of the album was recorded for a doc (also called Let It Be) directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg and released in 1970. The movie quickly became notorious for showing the clearly frustrated group snapping at one another and the finished product was greeted with unfavorable reviews, with audiences and critics apparently turned off by scenes of the much-loved band at each other’s throats, with the guys themselves reportedly also finding it a less than enjoyable watch. All that’s why (save for a 1981 VHS and Laserdisc release) it’s never been re-released, with the film apparently “raising a lot of old issues” according to Apple Corps’ Neil Aspinall.
So, what will Peter Jackson’s take on it be? Well, with the 50th anniversary of the album and film rolling around in 2020, Paul McCartney seems to have concluded that now’s finally the time for audiences to properly see it. What we’ll get is apparently a “new version” of the movie assembled from outtakes from the 1969 sessions, with Jackson at the helm.
Right now, it doesn’t sound like it’ll have a wide theatrical release, but expect it on Blu-ray and DVD in 2020. One thing’s for sure: it’s been a long and winding road to get this film to audiences (I couldn’t resist) and Beatles fans will no doubt be pleased to see it.