A new authorized documentary--so far without a title--on the Beatles’ touring years is in the works. It was announced today, July 16, 2014 that Apple Corps Ltd, White Horse Pictures, and Imagine Entertainment are producing the film, which will be directed by Academy Award-winning director Ron Howard with full cooperation of Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison. Apple representatives wrote, “This film will focus on The Beatles’ journey from 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.”
White Horse’s Grammy Award-winning Nigel Sinclair, (“George Harrison: Living in the Material World”), Scott Pascucci and Academy Award winner and multiple nominee Brian Grazer of Imagine Entertainment will produce with Howard. Imagine’s Michael Rosenberg and White Horse’s Guy East will serve as executive producers.
Howard said, “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." In an interview with Rolling Stone, he said, “"We are going to be able to take the Super 8 footage that we found, that was all shot silent. We'll not only be able to digitally repair a lot of that, but we've also been finding the original recordings."
Beatles fans were invited to send in their home movie clips and photos of the Beatles during that amazing period. “One Voice One World” suggested the project to Apple Corps, an organization that has done extensive research around the world, and will act as co-producer.
The announcement by Apple Corps continued, “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.”
The term “Beatlemania” was coined during those exciting Beatles touring years. It originated after the band returned victorious to England from their time in Hamburg, Germany in 1961-62. The time in Hamburg was to be their baptism of fire. By the time they got back home to Liverpool, they had blossomed from a mediocre band, to an amazing, tight and powerful band. Their songwriting abilities coupled with their charisma on stage created a fan base full of devoted, screaming girls--and no one could top them. But their global popularity exploded when they appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show February 9, 1964. After that, their touring schedule became exhaustive till their last show on August 29, 1966, at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park.
There is no word yet as to when this project may be completed, but Howard said it’s slated for late 2015.
For its 50th anniversary, the 1964 feature film about Beatlemania, “A Hard Day’s Night” has just been newly restored from the original camera negative, featuring 4K digital restoration and a newly remixed 5.1 surround soundtrack.