The Beatles: Sir Sam Mendes to direct four films – one about each band member


The Beatles pose for a portrait in circa 1964
Image caption,Apple Corps said the films would “explore each Beatle’s unique story”

By Mark Savage and Steven McIntosh

Entertainment reporters

Director Sir Sam Mendes is to make four separate films about The Beatles – one from each band member’s perspective.

Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and the families of John Lennon and George Harrison have all granted permission and music rights for the four films.

The Oscar-winning director said he was “honoured to be telling the story of the greatest rock band of all time”.

He added that he was “excited to challenge the notion of what constitutes a trip to the movies”.

The films, made by Sony Pictures and Sir Sam’s Neal Street Productions, will be released in cinemas in 2027.

It is not clear whether the four films will be released at once or have a staggered rollout, but Sony said they would have an “innovative release cadence” which would be announced at a later date.

The project marks the first time that The Beatles and their company Apple Corps have granted full life story and music rights for a scripted film, according to a statement.

Sir Sam has previously directed films such as 1917, American Beauty, Revolutionary Road, Empire of Light and two James Bond movies – Skyfall and Spectre.

The Beatles are widely considered the greatest British band of all time thanks to a string of classic albums such as Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Abbey Road.

Sam Mendes, Olivia Colman and Toby Jones attend the South Coast Gala Screening of "Empire Of Light" at Dreamland on January 8, 2023 in Margate, England.
Image caption,Sir Sam Mendes (left) most recently directed Empire of Light starring Olivia Colman and Toby Jones

Their best known hits include Yesterday, Hey Jude, A Hard Day’s Night, Eight Days A Week, Let It Be, Come Together, Here Comes The Sun, Twist and Shout, Love Me Do and Help!

The majority of their songs were written by Lennon and McCartney. Harrison was often said to have felt frustrated that his own compositions were not given equal weight by his bandmates.

Last year, the Beatles released what was described as their “final song”. Titled Now and Then, the first bars were written by John Lennon in 1978, but could not be completed until software advances allowed the remaining band-members to extract his vocals from a rough demo cassette.

The track topped the UK singles chart in November, making the Beatles the act with the longest gap between their first and last number ones.

Apple Corps said the four new films would “explore each Beatle’s unique story and to bring them together in a suitably captivating and innovative way”.

Producer Dame Pippa Harris said: “We intend this to be a uniquely thrilling, and epic cinematic experience…. To have The Beatles’ and Apple Corps’ blessing to do this is an immense privilege.”

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