Sunday, April 14, 2024

The Beatles Will Get 4 Separate Movies from Director Sam Mendes, Sony Pictures, and the Group’s Apple Records

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The Beatles are getting four separate films that actually sound as if they’ll become a streaming project.

The group has a patchy history in Hollywood other than their own films like “Help!” and “A Hard Days Night.”

Attempts have been made to chronicle their history narratively, like “Nowhere Boy” and “Across the Universe.” Sometimes song placements have worked — “Baby You’re a Rich Man” was perfect in “The Social Network.” But at this moment, the group let their new old song, “Now and Then,” be woven through “Argylle,” a huge flop.

That this new project went to Sony is not a surprise. Sony Pictures aka Columbia Pictures and Sony Music still have a relationship through Sony Japan. They are all part of the same corporation. Sony Music now controls the Beatles music catalog. So I’m sure Sony Pictures had the inside track.

How four movies will be made from this is unclear. Ambitious, but unclear. I think in the end there will be one long movie, or a series for a streamer. It would be funny if it went to Apple Plus since Steve Jobs took the name of the Beatles Apple Records for his company, and ultimately had to pay them for it.

Read the press release below:

Today, Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE), Sam Mendes, and Neal Street Productions announced a groundbreaking creative endeavor to tell the story of The Beatles with four distinct theatrical feature films. The project marks the first time Apple Corps Ltd. and The Beatles – Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and the families of John Lennon and George Harrison – have granted full life story and music rights for a scripted film.

As conceived by Mendes, who will direct, the four theatrical feature films – one from each band member’s point-of-view – will intersect to tell the astonishing story of the greatest band in history.

SPE will finance and distribute worldwide with full theatrical windows in 2027. The dating cadence of the films, the details of which will be shared closer to release, will be innovative and groundbreaking. 

Mendes will direct all four films and produce alongside his Neal Street Productions partner Pippa Harris and Neal Street’s Julie Pastor. Jeff Jones will executive produce for Apple Corps Ltd.

“I’m honored to be telling the story of the greatest rock band of all time, and excited to challenge the notion of what constitutes a trip to the movies,” said Sam Mendes.

“We intend this to be a uniquely thrilling, and epic cinematic experience: four films, told from four different perspectives which tell a single story about the most celebrated band of all time,” said Pippa Harris. “To have The Beatles’ and Apple Corps’ blessing to do this is an immense privilege. From our first meeting with Tom Rothman and Elizabeth Gabler, it was clear that they shared both our passion and ambition for this project, and we can’t think of a more perfect home than Sony Pictures.”

“Apple Corps is delighted to collaborate with Sam, Pippa and Julie to explore each Beatle’s unique story and to bring them together in a suitably captivating and innovative way,” said Apple Corps Ltd. CEO Jeff Jones. “Sony Pictures’ enthusiastic support, championing the project’s scope and creative vision from the start, has been invaluable for all of us.” 

“I know I speak for our CEO Tony Vinciquerra, who was instrumental in making this happen, and every Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group colleague around the world when I say: ‘yeah, yeah, yeah!’” said Tom Rothman, Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures’ Motion Picture Group. “Theatrical movie events today must be culturally seismic. Sam’s daring, large-scale idea is that and then some. Pairing his premiere filmmaking team, with the music and the stories of four young men who changed the world, will rock audiences all over the globe. We are deeply grateful to all parties and look forward ourselves to breaking some rules with Sam’s uniquely artistic vision

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
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