The Beatles’ Let It Be Coming to Disney+

After fifty years, The Beatles’ Let It Be film will be officially available to eager fans. It has been announced that the controversial 1970 documentary will debut on Disney Plus worldwide this May.

Let It Be was originally released in cinemas in May 1970. The film last saw release on VHS in the 1980s. Fast forward to 2021 and many further hours of footage that were shot but many never used for the Let It Be project in 1969 were included in the epic 3-part documentary put together by Peter Jackson. Get Back gave a much clearer picture of what happened during the project and how it progressed from the initial idea of a big musical special to an album and what turned out to be The Beatles’ last ever public performance together. Get Back is still available on Disney Plus.

In the same way that Get Back featured enormous amounts of footage not previously seen, Let It Be also features footage which wasn’t included in Get Back. Following the success of The Beatles: Get Back, Peter Jackson’s Park Road Post Production embarked on a full restoration of the Let It Be film. The restoration was done from the original 16mm negatives, including the use of the MAL de-mix technology that evolved during the work on the Get Back project. The restoration work had the original director Michael Lindsay-Hogg’s full support.

Lindsay-Hogg says of the movie: “Let It Be was ready to go in October/November 1969, but it didn’t come out until April 1970. One month before its release, The Beatles officially broke up. And so the people went to see ‘Let It Be’ with sadness in their hearts, thinking, ‘I’ll never see The Beatles together again. I will never have that joy again,’ and it very much darkened the perception of the film. But in fact, there’s a great deal of joy and happiness and creation going on, and ‘Let It Be’ is – especially when you get to the roof, and you see the exchange and the way that they look at each other – essentially a happy and ‘up’ movie. I was knocked out by what Peter was able to do with ‘Get Back,’ using all the footage I’d shot 50 years previously.”

Peter Jackson says of the restoration project: “I’m absolutely thrilled that Michael’s movie, ‘Let It Be,’ has been restored and is finally being re-released after being unavailable for decades. I was so lucky to have access to Michael’s outtakes for ‘Get Back,’ and I’ve always thought that ‘Let It Be’ is needed to complete the ‘Get Back’ story. Over three parts, we showed Michael and The Beatles filming a groundbreaking new documentary, and ‘Let It Be’ is that documentary – the movie they released in 1970. I now think of it all as one epic story, finally completed after five decades. The two projects support and enhance each other: ‘Let It Be’ is the climax of ‘Get Back,’ while ‘Get Back’ provides a vital missing context for ‘Let It Be.’ Michael Lindsay-Hogg was unfailingly helpful and gracious while I made ‘Get Back,’ and it’s only right that his original movie has the last word…looking and sounding far better than it did in 1970.”

Let It Be, directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg, stars John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, with a special appearance by Billy Preston. The film was produced by Neil Aspinall with The Beatles acting as executive producers. The director of photography was Anthony B Richmond.

At this time, there is no word on whether there will be a physical release of the restoration on DVD or Blu-Ray. It is likely more details will emerge as time goes on.

The newly restored Let It Be will debut exclusively on Disney+ May 8, 2024.

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