The eagerly anticipated new docuseries on The Beatles from Peter Jackson was met with a faint snort of derision when it was announced. Proud fans of the Fab Four were more than happy to claim that they wouldn’t be shown anything new about the band during The Beatles: Get Back.
Director, Jackson, has now opened up a little more about the series and said he’s sure that fans of the band will be surprised by the series. Reviving hours of footage from the band’s tumultuous 1969, Jackson feels confident the series will deliver in more ways than one.
The year is a significant one for the band. Not only did they release their famed Abbey Road album, but it also very nearly saw the band break up for good. In truth, the fabric of the Fab Four was already beginning to tear at the start of the year and Jackson confirmed that the “intimate” series will focus more heavily on the inter-band relations rather than the music.
“I think people will be surprised by the series for two reasons,” the Lord of the Rings director told GQ. “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,” he continues, “weirdly, it’s what goes on behind the music at the forefront. I mean, 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. There’s probably more conversations with The Beatles in the films than there is actual singing.”
It’s not just the altered focus that will catch Beatles fans unaware but also the sense of humour the director has tried to instil in the series, despite the tense atmosphere of the footage. “The other thing that I think will surprise people is how funny the films are, which, 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,” he said.
Peter Jackson’s The Beatles: Get Back airs on Disney+ November 25-27