Beatles Biopic Series From Sam Mendes in the Works at Sony

Each of the four films will follow the perspective of a different band member

The Beatles
The Beatles celebrate the completion of their new album, 'Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' (Photo by John Pratt/Keystone/Getty Images)

A series of biopics about The Beatles are currently in the works at Sony Pictures Entertainment. This will mark the first time Apple Corps Ltd. and The Beatles – Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr as well as the families of John Lennon and George Harrison – have granted full life story and music rights for a scripted film.

The project comes from Sam Mendes, who is set to direct, and will be composed of four films altogether. Each will follow a different band member’s perspective as the project attempts to tell the ultimate story of this storied music group. This project comes over 50 years after the band broke up and 40 years after Lennon’s death.

Sony Pictures Entertainment will finance the films and distribute them worldwide. This will include theatrical windows in 2027. Mendes will also produce the project 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,” Mendes said in a press release.

“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 in a press release. “To have The Beatles’ and Apple Corps’ blessing to do this is an immense privilege.”

These four films will mark Mendes’ first foray into the world of musical biopics. Over the years, Mendes has established a reputation for his war movies, which include “Jarhead” and “1917,” as well as his for his work directing “Skyfall” and “Spectre” in the James Bond universe. The director is also known for his work directing the black comedy-drama “American Beauty,” the crime drama “Road to Perdition,” the romantic drama “Revolutionary Road” and the road trip comedy-drama “Away We Go.” Most recently he worked on the 2022 romantic drama “Empire of Light.”

“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 in a press release. “Sony Pictures’ enthusiastic support, championing the project’s scope and creative vision from the start, has been invaluable for all of us.” 

Tom Rothman, chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures’ Motion Picture Group, noted that Sony Pictures Entertainment CEO Tony Vinciquerra was ” instrumental” in making this project happen.

“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,” Rothman said in a press release. “We are deeply grateful to all parties and look forward ourselves to breaking some rules with Sam’s uniquely artistic vision.”

In recent years, the musical biopic has been in a bit of a renaissance. The success of Rami Malek’s performance in the Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” has led to star-studded, awards fodder movies about Elton John (“Rocketman”) and Elvis Presley (“Elvis” and “Priscilla”). It feels inevitable that The Beatles would enter this particular fray.

There have been a great deal of movies about and inspired by The Beatles’ work, from the comedy “Yesterday” and the musical “Across the Universe” to the Sam Taylor-Wood biographical drama “Nowhere Boy.” That’s without accounting for the myriad of documentaries about the band, which include “Eight Days a Week — The Tour Years,” “George Harrison: Living in the Material World” and “Get Back.” But this project from Mendes and Sony will mark the first full-scale biopic that will focus on the band during their musical prime.

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