Ron Howard to helm documentary about Beatles’ touring years

Ed Sullivan with the Beatles in 1964.

Ron Howard will direct and produce a documentary about the Beatles as a touring act, from their early days playing in Liverpool, England, and Hamburg, Germany, to their last concert in San Francisco in 1966.

The film is being produced by Apple Corps Ltd. (which represents the Beatles), White Horse Pictures and Howard’s Imagine Entertainment, with the cooperation of Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison.

“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,” Howard said in a statement. “Their impact on popular culture and the human experience cannot be exaggerated.”

The Fab Four — McCartney, Starr, John Lennon and George Harrison — arrived on the British scene in 1961 and began touring Europe in 1963, but it was their famous appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in 1964 that caused their popularity to skyrocket. Their first world tour kicked off later that year, and by the time they stopped touring in August 1966, they had played 166 concerts in 90 cities around the globe.


Research for the film conducted by One Voice One World, which first brought the project to Apple Corps, has turned up a cache of home movie clips and photos sent in by Beatles fans.

The film, which is untitled, will be Howard’s second documentary. His first was “Made in America,” about Jay-Z’s music festival of the same name.

Howard is producing the Beatles film with Imagine partner Brian Grazer, White Horse’s Nigel Sinclair and Concord Music Group’s Scott Pascucci.

The filmmakers intend to release the documentary by the end of 2015.


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