The Beatles ain’t changing their image for anyone — not even Disney.
The British rock group teamed up with director Peter Jackson to release their long-awaited musical documentary, “Get Back,” now streaming on Disney+.
The series includes several scenes featuring smoking and explicit language; however, the group refused to have them removed.
The three-part show includes a disclaimer from the streamer ahead of each episode that reads: “This footage contains explicit language, mature themes and smoking.”
The “Lord of the Rings” director, 60, explained in an interview with NME that Beatles members Paul McCartney, 79, and Ringo Starr, 81, refused to have the swearing eliminated from the final product.
“Paul [McCartney] describes it as being very raw,” Jackson said. “He said to me: ‘That is a very accurate portrayal of how we were then.’ Ringo [Starr] said: ‘It’s truthful.’ The truthfulness of it is important to them. They don’t want a whitewash.”
The new Zealand-born filmmaker added, “They don’t want it to be sanitized. Disney wanted to remove all the swearing and Ringo, Paul, and Olivia [Harrison] said ‘That’s how we spoke. That’s how we talked. That’s how we want the world to see us.’”
“When [McCartney and Starr] got to see the finished thing, I was expecting notes. It would’ve just been normal to get a note saying: ‘Oh, that bit where I say that — could you cut that out?’ Or ‘Could you shorten the conversation there?’ And I didn’t get a single note,” Jackson continued, noting how the band members didn’t want to change anything. “Not one request to do anything. One of them said that they watched it and found it one of the most stressful experiences of their entire life. ‘But I’m not gonna give you any notes.’”
Each episode has a lengthy runtime of between two and three hours. Of the long runtime, Jackson said, “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.”
The “King Kong” director said he was afraid of leaving out important footage, and therefore, the episodes had to stay over two hours each. “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,’” Jackson concluded.
The series featured the band’s songwriting and singing processes, as well as the struggles they underwent as friends and bandmates. The special showcased never-before-seen footage from the foursome’s January 1969 recording session and final live London show on the rooftop of Apple Corps headquarters on Savile Row.