Why I'm Surprised Peter Jackson Is Bringing Another Classic Beatles Documentary To Disney+ After Get Back

 The Beatles in The Beatles: Get Back.
The Beatles in The Beatles: Get Back.

Disney+ is known as the place to go for all things Marvel and Star Wars, and of course, it’s home to all of Disney’s 100 years of animation, but over the last few years, the streamer has become a major source of musical content. The recent release and massive success of Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour (Taylor’s Version) was only the latest in a string of concert films that have arrived, and Disney+ subscribers also have access to great musical documentaries, both original films, like Peter Jackson’s The Beatles: Get Back, and legacy content. Queen's famous Montreal concert film is coming to the service and it was just announced that Let It Be, the 1970 documentary film about the production of the titular album, will make its streaming debut on Disney+ next month.

While the release of Let It Be will be a big deal for any Beatles fan, it’s a somewhat surprising move considering that it is coming from Peter Jackson. Jackson is using the same film restoration techniques that were used on Get Back to give new life to the audio and video, but a big part of Get Back, which used outtakes of the same footage that made up Let it Be, was seemingly focused on rebutting the idea, largely popularized by that film, that the Beatles self-destructed while recording the album. I spoke with Jackson before the release of Get Back, and as he told me…

You read that John and Paul weren't writing songs anymore, they’d sort of do their own songs and bring them in. That's not true… I was kind of expecting them to come in, ‘Okay, here's this, here's a song. I wrote it at home, just play your guitar, do this.’ That's what I'd sort of thought. But it's not that at all. It's so collaborative, you see the creative process, and you see it in sort of overdrive. Because they have a deadline. And it's really, it's kind of it's quite exciting to watch.

Let It Be is a historic piece of media for Beatles fans as it is seen by many as the film that shows the self-destruction of the Beatles. Let it Be was the band’s second to last album that they recorded together, though it ended up being the final one released. The film was released a month after The Beatles officially broke up.

Considering that Let It Be is all of 80 minutes long, and Jackson’s Get Back is over six hours long, it would seem that Jackson’s film should be the definitive word, one way or another, on just how those late days of The Beatles were. Releasing Let It Be afterward certainly seems to be giving it the last word.

But it’s certainly possible that after more than 50 years, and with newly restored audio and video, viewing Let It Be now will be different. The film was never released on DVD or Blu-ray, and it hasn’t been streaming before, so it’s been quite a while since most people have actually seen it, maybe thanks to time, and thanks to Get Back changing our perspective, the film will be different now. Let it Be arrives on Disney+ May 8.