Beatles films: Sam Mendes to direct movies on McCartney, Lennon, Harrison and Starr

The project is the first time the surviving band members and the families of Lennon and Harrison have granted life story and music rights for a scripted film.

Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr will each have a seperate – but interconnected – film based on their lives, directed by Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes, and expected to show in cinemas in 2027.

As reported exclusively by Deadline, the project, announced by Sony Pictures Entertainment and Mendes’ company, Neal Street Productions, marks the first time the surviving band members – and the families of Harrison and Lennon – have given life story and music rights for a scripted film.

Mendes told Deadline: ‘We went out to LA just before Christmas to pitch the project, and it’s fair to say we were met with universal enthusiasm. The reason Sony stood out from competing offers was down to Tom [Rothman] and Elizabeth [Gabler’s] passion for the idea and commitment to propelling these films theatrically in an innovative and exciting way.’

Mendes’ Neal Street Productions partner Pippa Harris, meanwhile, told Deadline that: ‘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.’

Documentaries about The Beatles include Eight Days A Week (2016), directed by Ron Howard, about the band’s touring years from 1962 to 1966, and The Beatles: Get Back (2021), a three-part series by Peter Jackson about the making of the album Let it Be (1970) drawing on, and restoring, used and unused footage originally shot for the 1970 documentary of the album by Michael Lindsay Hogg.

Rolling Stone described Jackson’s series as ‘a Thanksgiving feast for fans – nearly eight hours of hanging with The Beatles. It’s funnier, louder, sadder, realer than anyone even hoped. But it’s not really about the making of an album or a concert. It’s a stunningly intimate portrait of a friendship – the world’s favourite foursome, then as now.’

Other films The Beatles appeared in or lent their voices too during their career include A Hard Day’s Night (1964), Help! (1965), Magical Mystery Tour (1967) and Yellow Submarine (1968).

Reacting to the news about the forthcoming Mendes films on X, Ringo Starr wrote: ‘Have you heard the news? Oh boy. We all support the Sam Mendes movie project. Yes, indeed. peace and love.’

Actors for the films, and further release details, are as yet unknown.

Paul Dalgarno is author of the novels A Country of Eternal Light (2023) and Poly (2020); the memoir And You May Find Yourself (2015); and the creative non-fiction book Prudish Nation (2023). He was formerly Deputy Editor of The Conversation and joined ScreenHub as Managing Editor in 2022. X: @pauldalgarno. Insta: @dalgarnowrites