Ron Howard To Make Beatles Documentary About Fab Four’s Early Years


2014 has been a year of many anniversaries for The Beatles. Back in February, millions tuned in for The Night That Changed America, CBS’s commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the band’s arrival in the United States. Earlier this month, A Hard Day’s Night returned for a brief stay in theatres, in honor of that musical’s half-centennial.

Now, as bursts of Beatlemania return to the popular culture, director Ron Howard is in talks to direct a documentary about the Fab Four, focusing on their touring years in the UK, the US and 13 other countries. Not much is known about the doc just yet, but it is said to make extensive use of concert footage, some shot from fans in the crowd at several of their 166 live concerts.

“[The Beatles’] impact on popular culture and the human experience cannot be exaggerated,” Howard says. “They were so exceptional yet so relatable.”

The film will follow the group’s touring years, from their formative concerts in Liverpool in 1960 to their final show at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, in 1966. Many of their concerts in the wake of their exploding popularity were so loud and frantic that they turned The Beatles off from touring. However, the band famously had a rooftop concert in London’s Saville Row atop the Apple Corps building in 1969. Of course, the film will also cover their appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, which Howard recalls fondly.

“After I saw The Beatles on Ed Sullivan, all I wanted after that was a Beatles wig,” the Oscar-winning director says. “My parents said no but then they gave me one for my 10th birthday.”

The untitled doc will be authorized and made with the consent and participation of surviving band members Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, as well as Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison. Joining Howard to produce the doc is his long-time creative partner Brian Grazer, Scott Pascucci and the Grammy-winning Nigel Sinclair.

It is Sinclair’s experience producing Martin Scorsese’s No Direction Home: Bob Dylan, which followed the early years of another rock icon, and George Harrison: Living in the Material World, that brings confidence that this could become a new staple in rock-and-roll cinema.

Howard is producing the film for Apple Corps Ltd., who represent The Beatles’ business and creative interests, and says he wants to have the film finished and in theatres by the end of 2015. As always, we’ll keep you posted when we hear more.

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Source: The Playlist