"Because it was so close to the Beatles’ breakup, my impression of the film was of a sad moment," McCartney admitted during an interview with Billboard. Now, with Kiwi director Peter Jackson turning 58 hours of archival footage into a new Let It Be documentary, the perspective seems to be shifting.
"The director tells me that the overall impression is of friends working together," McCartney noted.
The Let It Be documentary was announced in January, with Jackson boasting that the finished product will be "the ultimate 'fly on the wall' experience. It’s like a time machine transports us back to 1969, and we get to sit in the studio watching these four friends make great music together."
Although it was recorded before Abbey Road, Let It Be was the band's final release, coming out shortly after the Beatles broke up in 1970. Footage of the band creating the album was originally shot for a television documentary, and was conceptualised to accompany a concert broadcast. The project evolved into a feature film, which briefly screened in theatres before disappearing from circulation and becoming a rare VHS collectable. Jackson is assembling the new documentary from the raw material of that original project.
"After reviewing all the footage and audio that Michael Lindsay-Hogg shot 18 months before they broke up, it’s simply an amazing historical treasure trove," the Academy Award-winning director remarked, adding that the viewing experience will be "funny, uplifting and surprisingly intimate."
No release date has been set for the documentary, with McCartney only saying that "something's going to come out from that footage."