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PRODUCTION / FUNDING USA / UK

Sam Mendes to direct four separate Beatles biopics for John, Paul, George and Ringo

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- Sony Pictures Entertainment is financing all four films, set to be theatrically released in 2027

Sam Mendes to direct four separate Beatles biopics for John, Paul, George and Ringo
left to right: John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, George Harrison; Sam Mendes (© Frankie Fouganthin)

British director Sam Mendes is set to direct four biopics of the Beatles, one of each member of the band, told from their perspective and leading up to the band’s breakup in 1970. All four films are set to be released theatrically in 2027 “in an innovative and exciting way”, with Sony Pictures Entertainment financing and distributing. Deadline first reported the news.

The films will also be produced by Mendes through his UK-based company Neal Street Productions, with Pippa Harris and Julie Pastor, while the Beatles-founded multimedia organisation Apple Corps Limited will be involved as executive producers. 

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This marks the first time that the two surviving Beatles, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, as well as the families of the late John Lennon and George Harrison, have granted full life story and music rights for a scripted film.

The Beatles have been notoriously protective over their work and IP — American director Cameron Crowe had an easier time securing a brand-new Paul McCartney song for his 2001 film Vanilla Sky than obtaining the permission to use the Beatles hit originally mentioned in his screenplay. But the band’s relationship with cinema has always been strong, with the Fab Four appearing in their own films as early as the 1960s (including the influential A Hard Day’s Day in 1964), John Lennon and Ringo Starr both acting in several films, George Harrison forming the production company HandMade Films (specifically to finance the Monty Python feature Life of Brian in 1978), and Paul McCartney writing and starring in his own musical titled Give My Regards to Broad Street in 1984. They have been the subject of numerous documentaries, usually involving first-rate talent: Martin Scorsese directed George Harrison: Living in the Material World in 2011, while Peter Jackson was allowed access to the Apple vaults to make The Beatles: Get Back in 2021. 

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