It’s been nearly two years since we first got wind that Oscar-winning Lord of the Rings mastermind Peter Jackson, who has shifted his focus to documentary filmmaking over the past few years, was making a deep-dive doc on perhaps the most beloved band of all time. That production, like all others, has been roadblocked by the coronavirus pandemic, but as Jackson reveals in a newly released sneak peek, thanks to his native New Zealand having stopped COVID in its tracks, The Beatles: Get Back has rounded far enough into form that viewers can steal a glimpse ahead of the feature-length doc’s belated release in theaters (assuming that’s still a thing) on Aug. 27, 2021.
The five-minute “special look,” which you can watch down below (or stream on Disney+), is not quite a trailer, nor quite a behind-the-scenes featurette; as Jackson himself explains in the clip’s introduction, it’s “like a montage of moments that we pulled from throughout the 56 hours of footage that we have, and it just gives you a sense of the spirit of the film that we’re making.” The filmmaker adds in a statement, “We wanted to give the fans of The Beatles all over the world a holiday treat, so we put together this five-minute sneak peek at our upcoming theatrical film The Beatles: Get Back. We hope it will bring a smile to everyone’s faces and some much-needed joy at this difficult time.”
Shot by pioneering rock film director Michael Lindsay-Hogg, those 56 previously unseen hours (which are actually in excess of 60 hours, per a press release) are also accompanied by 150 hours of never-before-heard audio, all of which is billed as being “brilliantly restored.” Judging by the work Jackson and company did on his colorized 2018 World War I doc They Shall Not Grow Old, which worked similar magic on 100-year-old footage from the trenches, that “brilliantly” likely isn’t just hype. But the quality of this footage, though exciting, is dwarfed by the enormity of what Lindsay-Hogg actually captured.
The doc’s synopsis explains:
The Beatles: Get Back is the story of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr as they plan their first live show in over two years and charts the writing and rehearsing of 14 new songs, originally intended for release on an accompanying live album. The film 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, as well as other songs and classic compositions featured on the band’s final two albums, Abbey Road and Let It Be.
If that doesn’t get your blood pumping, what on earth would?
Watch the Get Back sneak peek below and stay tuned to Paste for any further updates on the production, which Jackson says is about halfway-done being edited.