Peter Jackson has defended the incredible running time of his new docuseries on The Beatles after drawing a mixed response from fans.
The director collated more than 60 hours of footage from Michael Lindsay-Hogg’s 1970 film Let It Be, documenting the band’s fractious recording sessions for what would be their final album.
The end result is three episodes spanning 468 minutes – between two and three hours for each instalment – with some fans insisting it is too long.
Speaking out: Peter Jackson has defended the incredible running time of his new docuseries on The Beatles after drawing a mixed response from fans
The astonishing length of Jackson’s latest project has divided viewers of the Disney+ series, with one commenting: ‘Watched all of Get Back!! For hxc Beatles fans I’m sure it wasn’t long enough, but for me, in my twisted opinion, you could cut 2 hours out of it easily.’
Another joked: ‘I have watched The Beatles Get Back. I will have a review that is much shorter in the next couple of days.’
While a third added: ‘I love #TheBeatles but the #GetBack doc was long and boring. It was presented as if we were watching a painter paint a masterpiece…but in reality it was like watching the painter buying the paint before actually painting. The Beatles Anthology, it was not. I want my 8hrs back.’
Iconic: The director collated more than 60 hours of footage from Michael Lindsay-Hogg’s 1970 film Let It Be, documenting the band’s fractious recording sessions for what would be their final album
Bored: The end result is three episodes spanning 468 minutes – between two and three hours for each instalment – with some fans insisting it is too long
Others were more positive in their response to the series, with one tweeting: ‘Peter Jackson’s new documentary #GetBack, on the last days of the #Beatles is brilliant. It’s an investment in time, but worth it. Especially when the Blue Meanies actually show up. (You’ll have to watch).’
Another wrote: ‘The Beatles Get Back tapes was an amazing visualization of genius creating art and building out a legacy within the span of 22 days, I’m absolutely speechless.’
A third enthusiastic fan heaped praise on the band’s use of musician Billy Preston, who played keyboards on Get Back.
‘How good is The Beatles get back documentary, all geniuses. Billy Preston is an unsung hero. Happiest man alive in the Doc,’ they commented.
Delighted: However others praised the documentary series, with one fan calling Jackson a ‘genius’
But Jackson claims his liberal use of Lindsay-Hogg’s footage was essential, otherwise it could potentially be lost for another 50-years.
He told NME: ‘I’d like to say that I didn’t really leave out anything that I thought was important. Which is why the duration has crept up to what it is today.
‘I felt acutely – and this is the Beatles fan part of me kicking in – anything I don’t include in this movie might go back in the vault for another 50 years.
‘I was seeing and hearing these amazing moments. I thought: “God, people have got to see this. This is great. They have to see this.”‘
He added: ‘One of the legendary Beatles things is the full length Dig It. On the Let It Be album there’s only 40, 50 seconds of Dig It, which was like an improvised song that they do. The Beatles fans all know that the original has been on bootleg as well.
‘We trimmed it to get it down to four minutes or something because the original is 12 or 13 minutes long… So you get a lot more than you do on the Let It Be album.’
Reaction: Meanwhile viewers have been left baffled by a ‘woke’ smoking warning displayed at the start of The Beatles: Get Back docuseries on Disney+ (John Lennon is pictured)
Meanwhile viewers were been left baffled by a ‘woke’ smoking warning displayed at the start of The Beatles: Get Back docuseries on Disney+.
All three episodes of the programme each open with a warning about ‘explicit language, mature themes and smoking’.
The three-part-series takes audiences back in time to the band’s intimate recording sessions and exuberant performances for their their final 1970 album, Let It Be.
One fan posted online in reaction: ‘I liked the warning on Get Back… SMOKING. On that basis, Casablanca should be cancelled.’
Another pointed out the smoking alert seemed odd as members of the band were self-confessed drug-users at the time.
A third wrote: ‘Get Back was worth the wait. I’m into episode two part way because of time constraints. But I have to chuckle at the disclaimer about people smoking. Who needs that warning? How fragile is society? It’s a goddamn cigarette. Get over it.’
Someone else reacted saying: ‘Watching the Beatles doc #GetBack, there is actually a trigger warning at the beginning: ‘This footage contains explicit language, mature themes and smoking.’ Seriously?’
Docuseries: Three episodes of the programme each open with a warning about ‘explicit language, mature themes and smoking’ (Ringo Starr is pictured)
Disney+ has been contacted by MailOnline for a comment.
It comes after earlier this month Peter Jackson revealed he successfully convinced Disney to allow for swearing to be included in his documentary The Beatles: Get Back.
While it is the first time that ‘a Disney channel’ has agreed to broadcast foul language, the film director, 60, said that it was ‘not in an aggressive or sexual way’.
Having their say: One fan posted online in reaction: ‘I liked the warning on Get Back… SMOKING. On that basis, Casablanca should be cancelled’
Describing the project as ‘a film about chain smokers with guitars who play songs,’ Peter told Radio Times: ‘We’ve had to have a discussion with Disney about the swearing.
‘The Beatles are scouse boys and they freely swear but not in an aggressive or sexual way. We got Disney to agree to have swearing, which I think is the first time for a Disney channel.
‘That makes them feel modern, too. Obviously people did swear in the 60s but not when they were being filmed.’
Spellbinding: The three-part-series takes audiences back in time to the band’s intimate recording sessions and exuberant performances for their their final 1970 album, Let It Be
The show follows the story of the iconic Liverpool band as they plan their first live show in over two years, using unseen footage (filmed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg) and more than 150 hours of unheard audio, all of which has been brilliantly restored.
The film charts the writing and rehearsing of 14 new songs, originally intended for release on an accompanying live album.
The Beatles: Get Back also features other songs and classic compositions featured on the band’s final two albums, Abbey Road and Let It Be.
The documentary features – for the first time in its entirety – The Beatles’ last live performance as a group, the unforgettable rooftop concert on London’s Savile Row.
Success: It comes after earlier this month Jackson revealed he successfully convinced Disney to allow for swearing to be included in his documentary The Beatles : Get Back (pictured in 2019)
On 30 January 1969, the Beatles enacted the final public performance of their career with an unannounced concert held from the rooftop of their Apple Corps headquarters at 3 Savile Row, within central London’s office and fashion district.
They were joined by keyboardist Billy Preston, the band played a 42-minute set ending with the conclusion of ‘Get Back’ before the Metropolitan Police asked them to reduce the volume.
The exciting new collaboration The Beatles: Get Back saw The Beatles and three-time Oscar-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson join forces for a production presented by The Walt Disney Studios in association with Apple Corps Ltd. and WingNut Films Productions Ltd.
The Beatles: Get Back is directed by Jackson, produced by Jackson, Clare Olssen and Jonathan Clyde, with Ken Kamins and Apple Corps’ Jeff Jones serving as executive producers.
Jabez Olssen serves as the film’s editor, and the music is mixed by Giles Martin and Sam Okell.
The Beatles: Get Back is streaming now on Disney +.
Throwback: The Beatles: Get Back is streaming now on Disney +