Director Peter Jackson’s eight-hour documentary “The Beatles: Get Back” is set to be released on DVD and Blu-Ray this summer, with the sprawling doc from 2021 finally available in physical editions July 12.
If there’s a sense of deja vu to that announcement, it’s because these home video editions were already previously announced to come out six months earlier, but that release was scotched before it happened due to a defect that was detected in the discs.
“The Beatles: Get Back” has been originally scheduled to come out Feb. 8, after an initial announcement Jan. 5. But Beatles fans who had placed their orders noticed them getting canceled as the winter release date approached. A few copies that slipped out confirmed the reason for the cancellation of that release: There was an imperfection in the 7.1 audio mix, causing the discs to need to be remanufactured.
Each of the sets breaks the 468-minute doc down into three separate discs. There are no bonus features beyond the documentary itself, although the foldout package includes four commemorative cards with photos of the individual Beatles. Both editions include several audio options, with the Blu-Ray offering Dolby Atmos, 7.1 PCM, 2.0 PCM and 2.0 Descriptive Audio. The DVD has 5.1 and 2.0 Dolby Digital, along with 2.0 Descriptive Audio.
“Get Back” was widely hailed by fans and critics when it was released on Disney+ last Thanksgiving week, with Variety saying it “may stand as the best rock doc ever.”
Jackson, the director of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, had originally set out to forge a standard theatrical documentary out of the footage that was originally shot in 1969 for the “Let It Be” film, but was so taken with the outtakes he was restoring that he talked Disney into letting him do a nearly eight-hour version to premiere on its streaming service instead. A one-hour outtake of the “rooftop concert” subsequently hit IMAX theaters as a one-time theatrical event. Jackson has said he has lobbied Disney to let him release even more of the footage, and urged fans to do the same, but there has been no word on anything additional seeing the light of day.
Paul McCartney is clearly a fan of the documentary, and how well-received it was by fans. He titled his current tour, which hit Los Angeles this past weekend, the “Got Back” tour. And the encore segment of the concerts opens with McCartney singing a duet of “I’ve Got a Feeling” with the pre-recorded image and audio of John Lennon from the rooftop concert that concludes the documentary. McCartney explains in the shows that Jackson offered to isolate Lennon’s vocals from the filmed passage to make the nightly pairing possible.