Ron Howard Set to Direct a Beatles Documentary

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Ron Howard to Direct Beatles Documentary

The Beatles perform on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ (Photo Credit: CBS Photo Archive, Negative Code 27399-frame 32, © 1964 CBS Broadcasting Inc, All Rights Reserved)

Two-time Oscar winner Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind) will direct an authorized documentary about the first part of The Beatles’ career, as just announced by Apple Corps Ltd., White Horse Pictures and Imagine Entertainment. The documentary will be made with the full support of Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono Lennon, and Olivia Harrison, and will highlight the “early days of the Cavern Club in Liverpool and engagements in Hamburg to their last public concert in Candlestick Park, San Francisco, in 1966.” Howard, White Horse’s Nigel Sinclair, Scott Pascucci, and Brian Grazer are producing. Michael Rosenberg, Guy East, Jeff Jones and Jonathan Clyde are on board as executive producers.

“I am excited and honored to be working with Apple and the White Horse team on this astounding story of these four young men who stormed the world in 1964. Their impact on popular culture and the human experience cannot be exaggerated,” stated Howard.

Sinclair said, “The way The Beatles burst onto the scene in Britain was an overwhelming social, cultural and musical phenomenon, but was even then eclipsed by that extraordinary explosion on the American scene and then the world. I was lucky enough to see The Beatles perform in Glasgow in 1964, shortly after their Ed Sullivan appearance. It is an honor to work on this project for The Beatles, and to be collaborating again with the extraordinary Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, and my good friend Scott Pascucci.”

Details on The Beatles Documentary, Courtesy of Apple Corps Ltd., White Horse Pictures and Imagine Entertainment:

The Beatles began touring Europe in late 1963, after an extraordinary arrival on the British scene in 1961 and ’62. However, it was their much-heralded Ed Sullivan appearance on February 9, 1964 that caused The Beatles’ popularity to explode. By June, the band had commenced their first world tour, and continued on a relentless schedule for two subsequent years. By the time the band stopped touring in August of 1966, they had performed 166 concerts in 15 countries and 90 cities around the world. The cultural phenomenon their touring helped create, known as “Beatlemania,” was something the world had never seen before and laid the foundation for the globalization of culture.

Beatlemania was not just a phenomenon. It was the catalyst for a cultural shift that would alter the way people around the world viewed and consumed popular culture. This film will seek to explain what it was about that particular moment in time that allowed this cultural pivot point to occur. It will examine the social and political context of the time, and reveal the unique conditions that caused technology and mass communication to collide. The film will also explore the incomparable electricity between performer and audience that turned the music into a movement – a common experience into something sublime.


-By Rebecca Murray

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