Academy Award-winning director Ron Howard and Grammy Award-winning producer Nigel Sinclair have teamed up to make an authorized documentary on the iconic Beatles. The documentary will cover the Beatles' touring years between 1960 and 1966, and the phenomenon called Beatlemania.
A Beatlehead for most of his life, Ron Howard will piece together an inside view of the band from Liverpool by interviewing surviving members Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, as well as John Lennon's wife Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison, wife of George Harrison.
Howard told Variety magazine that he is excited and honored to be working on an astounding story like that of the Beatles, “who stormed the world in 1964. Their impact on popular culture and the human experience cannot be exaggerated.”
The Cavern Club in Liverpool in 1960 saw the Beatles perform as a group for the first time, followed by performances at many other locations in Britain. A European tour in late 1963, their historic appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" on Feb. 9, 1964, and their first world tour that summer turned the music world on its head.
By the time the Beatles played their final concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco in 1966, they had performed at 166 concerts in 15 countries and 90 cities around the world, according to Variety. Howard's film intends to explore why the Beatles became icons while also examining the social and political context of the time.
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The film will reportedly make use of amateur concert footage shot by fans and weave it in with original recording, to make the viewer experience a Beatles concert just like it happened in the 1960s.
"We can now sync it up and create a concert experience so immersive and so engaging, I believe you're going to actually feel like you're somewhere in the Sixties, seeing what it was like to be there, feeling it and hearing it. And as a film director, that's a fantastic challenge. Sinclair has also uncovered some footage never seen before from the Beatles’ final concert in 1966 at San Francisco's Candlestick Park," Howard told Rolling Stone magazine.
"Their last concert in ’66, when they were probably the most famous people on the planet, [they] ended up carrying their own amps onstage. I think that’s almost emblematic of the charm of this story."
This will be Howard’s second music documentary, after last year’s film about Jay Z called "Made in America." Sinclair has worked on many critically acclaimed music documentaries, including Martin Scorsese’s "George Harrison: Living in the Material World" and "No Direction Home: Bob Dylan."
Howard, who has a bit of a history with his subjects -- apparently the band turned up at the sets of his hit "Happy Days" sitcom -- reminisced to Rolling Stone: “After I saw the Beatles on "Ed Sullivan," all I wanted after that was a Beatles wig. My parents said no, but then they gave me one for my 10th birthday.” Talks about the Beatles documentary with Sinclair began after Howard “told Nigel the story about the Beatles wig.”
The film intends to explore the connection that the music of the Beatles created across multiple generations of Beatles fans. "I hope we find some of that in the footage," Howard told Rolling Stone, adding: "We may have a shot of a boy or a girl very early in their life at a concert, and then we may be able to find them today and talk to them, and talk to their grandchildren and see what their relationship is with the Beatles, and understand how multiple generations find tremendous value and relevance in their music."
The documentary will be ready for release in late 2015.