Ron Howard to Direct New Beatles Documentary

Ron Howard to Direct New Beatles Documentary
Director Ron Howard is no stranger to the world of music documentaries, and the famed filmmaker will soon be turning his lens on a piece of rock'n'roll history. Following his film about Jay Z's Made in America festival, he has now set his sights on an even more high-profile subject: the Beatles.

Interestingly, the flick will focus on a fairly specific element of the band's career: their live performances. It will explore the Beatles' early years playing clubs in England and Germany and cover the time up until their 1966 gig at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. It seems that it will omit their later period, when they focused solely on studio recordings.

This is an authorized documentary, making this the first official Beatles film since 1970's Let It Be. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are on board, as is John Lennon's widow Yoko Ono and George Harrison's widow Olivia. It will apparently include previously unseen performance footage, and the filmmakers have reached out to collectors for accompanying live soundboard recordings.

"What's so intriguing to me is not only the subject, but the context we can bring to it now," Howard said [via the Hollywood Reporter]. "Not only can we do a study of these touring years, the narrative of an odyssey, we can look at the significance of the Beatles as individuals — as musical geniuses, as societal leaders and their effect on global culture. Dramatically it makes a lot of sense and cinematically, we have a chance to offer a unique experience."

Co-producer Nigel Sinclair said, "One of the things that interests Ron and I very much is the word exceptionalism. There is something utterly exceptional about the Beatles beyond any other musical group. I'm hoping, as we go on this journey together and piece together [this film], when it's finished, you get an understanding of that."

A title has not yet been announced. The film is expected in theatres next fall through Apple Corps Ltd., Imagine Entertainment and White Horse Pictures.

To go along with this announcement, the Beatles have released a five-minute compilation of live footage. Watch that clip below.