There are many names that have become legendary in popular culture, but among the most iconic are the names of musician John Lennon, and artist Yoko Ono. Finding each other toward the end of the global rock phenomenon The Beatles – of which Lennon was a founding member – the two lovers carved out a new place for themselves in the media with musical collaboration, performance art, and political activism. Their fascinating story is now headed to the big screen in an as-yet-untitled project.
Yoko Ono and John Lennon met in the mid-1960s as their professional paths crossed. Ono was making a name for herself as a conceptual artist, and Lennon was riding the wave of international adoration for the work of The Beatles. The two began a romantic relationship in 1968 and married in 1969. It was the third marriage for Ono, and the second for Lennon. They chose to turn their honeymoon into a protest against the Vietnam War, staging a ‘bed-in’ in Amsterdam, later to be followed by another in Montreal.
Ono and Lennon formed the Plastic Ono Band in 1969, and the break-up of The Beatles in 1970 subsequently left Yoko Ono as something of a divisive figure for many music fans. The couple separated briefly, between 1973 and 1974, before becoming parents to a son in 1975. As Ono pursued her artistic career, John Lennon then largely stepped back from music, until he was shot dead in New York City, with Yoko Ono at his side.
The film will be written by Anthony McCarten (The Theory Of Everything) and produced by Yoko Ono, Josh Bratman (Drive Angry) and Michael De Luca (Captain Phillips, The Social Network). In announcing the project, De Luca explained the variety of ways in which he felt the story of Lennon and Ono might resonate with modern audiences.
“The story will focus on ripe and relevant themes of love, courage and activism in the U.S. – with the intention of inspiring today’s youth to stand up for and have a clear vision for the world they want. I am also honored and privileged to be working with Yoko Ono, Anthony McCarten and Josh Bratman to tell the story of two amazing global icons.”
The film is still in development, but it’s inevitable that the lead roles will become among the most sought after in Hollywood. Which performers are ultimately tapped to fill the shoes of John Lennon and Yoko Ono is anyone’s guess, but with Michael De Luca and Anthony McCarten on board, the finished product is sure to draw a great deal of awards buzz when it’s finally released.